Teachers from dozens of school districts nationwide organized a day of action Monday to draw attention to the potential dangers of resuming full-time in-person classes.
Several major cities saw demonstrations, including Chicago, New York, Boston, Denver and Milwaukee, Chalkbeat reported.
“I do not want to be the sacrificial lamb, because you’re forcing us to go back into an environment that is dangerous,” elementary school teacher Andrea Parker said at a demonstration in Chicago.
Organizers published a list of their demands online, including “No reopening until the scientific data supports it,” as well as adequate levels of counselors, nurses and outreach workers.
They also demanded “safe conditions including lower class sizes, PPE [personal protective equipment], cleaning, testing, and other key protocols” and equal access to remote learning options.
In addition to the national demands, several districts outlined demands unique to their specific needs. In Milwaukee, teachers called for the state education department to issue an order keeping schools closed, as well as an end to standardized testing, according to Chalkbeat.
Caravan is @WisconsinDPI to deliver demands to end standardized testing & implement statewide health dept action keeping schools closed. Union presidents are taping letter w/ demands addressed to Supt. of Public Instruction Carolyn Stanford Taylor on door of DPI. #EdEquityOrElse pic.twitter.com/PBZOBxTRzy— MTEA (@MTEAunion) August 3, 2020
Chicago teachers, meanwhile, have called for the school year to begin remotely.
Denver educators, who tied red balloons to their cars to show support for the movement, announced plans to virtually meet with 500 students’ families by the end of the week to discuss concerns.
“Educators appreciate that the district moved back our start date for in-person learning,” said Tiffany Choi, who teaches high school French and leads the city’s teachers union.
Tiffany Choi, president of Denver teachers union, addresses crowd from the back of a truck: “Our students deserve safe, healthy and equitable schools.” pic.twitter.com/7r5RBAYiVC— Melanie Asmar (@MelanieAsmar) August 3, 2020
“We look forward to working with the district to identify evidence-based metrics for a safe return to school, and to discussions of safe working conditions,” she added.