Another major teacher’s union in Massachusetts called Monday for remote-only lessons to continue for at least the first few weeks of the new school year because of the rising levels of COVID-19 transmission in the state.
The American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, the state’s second-largest teachers’ union, also raised concerns about delays in obtaining test results, as well as a lack of hot water, adequate ventilation, and space for social distancing in many older school buildings.
The decision was made by the 23,000-member AFT’s executive board last week, the union said in a statement.
The state’s largest teachers’ union, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, last week called for continued remote-learning this fall.
“We miss our students terribly, and we all wish we could be back in the classroom with them,” AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos said in a statement. “But it’s become clear in the last few weeks that an in-person return to schools would unacceptably put the health and safety of our students, their families, and educators at risk. Parents, grandparents, and educators – maybe even students – would die.”
In order for in-person learning to resume, community transmission of COVID-19 has to be under control and a public health infrastructure to support effective testing, surveillance, tracing and isolation in schools has to be established, the union said.