MEA president says teachers want to return to classroom but only if safety protocols are followed

The head of the state’s largest teachers union said in-person learning is best for students, but reopening schools must be done safely.During a virtual meeting organized by the Joe Biden campaign on Wednesday, Maine Education Association President Grace Leavitt said teachers want to return to classrooms as long as the governor’s new protocols are followed.“To have had the message from the White House be ‘Reopen schools no matter what’ and not even talk about the safety of people, not even mentioning the safety of the adults that are there, has been the most disheartening – that’s a kind word – message that’s come out from the White House,” Leavitt said.Leavitt also said teachers are being asked to do even more than usual.“Monitoring things like wearing face masks and following social distancing, and also dealing with providing remote instruction at the same time,” Leavitt said. “Also, they are having to now be asked to clean surfaces in between classes and not even having the time to do that,” Leavitt said.In addition to health screenings, masks and personal protective gear, Leavitt said many school buildings need to upgrade their ventilation systems.The MEA represents 24,000 teachers and staff in Maine public schools.

The head of the state’s largest teachers union said in-person learning is best for students, but reopening schools must be done safely.

During a virtual meeting organized by the Joe Biden campaign on Wednesday, Maine Education Association President Grace Leavitt said teachers want to return to classrooms as long as the governor’s new protocols are followed.

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“To have had the message from the White House be ‘Reopen schools no matter what’ and not even talk about the safety of people, not even mentioning the safety of the adults that are there, has been the most disheartening – that’s a kind word – message that’s come out from the White House,” Leavitt said.

Leavitt also said teachers are being asked to do even more than usual.

“Monitoring things like wearing face masks and following social distancing, and also dealing with providing remote instruction at the same time,” Leavitt said. “Also, they are having to now be asked to clean surfaces in between classes and not even having the time to do that,” Leavitt said.

In addition to health screenings, masks and personal protective gear, Leavitt said many school buildings need to upgrade their ventilation systems.

The MEA represents 24,000 teachers and staff in Maine public schools.