San Jose teachers push back on return to classes

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – As coronavirus cases continue to climb, teachers in the San Jose Unified School District are pushing back on plans from the district to have students return to their physical classrooms as early as Aug 12.

After receiving a letter from the San Jose Teacher’s Association that most teachers felt unsafe and were unwilling to return to teaching in person, the school district is now rethinking its plans.

President of the San Jose Teacher’s Association, Patrick Bernhardt, represents 1,500 teachers, roughly half of the school district’s staffers that serve 30,000 students in 41 different schools from K-12.

He says most teachers are unwilling to return, given that cases are rising and there’s a lack of testing to detect asymptomatic carriers.

Teachers like Jodi Disario are disappointed by the district’s plans.

“I was already going to say that’s not safe for me and it’s not safe for my child. I wasn’t planning on sending her back, but if this gets ugly and we get really pressed to then I’m standing with my union because my union stands with me,” said Disario.

On Friday, Bernhardt sent a letter to the superintendent reflecting the teacher’s association’s concerns.

After learning that most of its teachers are unwilling to return to in-person teaching at this time, the school district launched a survey on its website for staff and parents to gauge their willingness on classroom reopenings.

The survey is open through Tuesday, July 14.

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