OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Teachers in Oakland are planning a sickout on Friday to bring attention to COVID safety concerns.
The Oakland Unified School District notified parents on Thursday.
On Friday, Oakland educators are planning a one-day sickout for school safety.
The release was sent with a list of demands for the school district – From the mass distribution of N95 and KN-95 masks, weekly PCR testing, retroactive extension of COVID leave, and HEPA filters in large common areas.
Kiara Smith, a teacher at Skyline High School, is planning the sickout.
“We would love to be in person just as much as everyone else wants us to be but the fact of the matter is our campuses aren’t safe right now,” Smith said.
On Thursday, the school district notified parents about the sickout.
In part, the note highlighting COVID protocols are in place, HEPA filters were distributed to every classroom and regular testing is available to all students and staff.
“It just feels like that’s not true,” Smith said. “We need some time to get resources that we need on campus in order to make it safe.”
The sickout is not sanctioned by the teacher’s union. It is unclear if educators at other schools plan to participate.
One OUSD parent disagrees.
“I feel my kids are safe, they have been safe the whole year and they should be in the classroom,” Megan Bacigalupi said. “I think the district on a variety of factors, improving ventilation and at school, they have testing every single day of the week that’s available on a variety of sites across the district.”
As for the solution…
“There are other things that can be done and we are hoping the district will come to the bargaining table and really bargain in good faith,” Smith said.
In the meantime, the district plans to keep schools open for students on Friday.