Local teachers express fears about returning to the classroom

Teachers react to reopening schools

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’ve heard from the state superintendent.

We’ve heard from local school leaders, and even parents.

But what are teachers saying about the upcoming school year?

Tracee Binion is the Uniserv Director for District 28 at the Alabama Education Association.

She has been in this role for nearly 12 years and was a classroom teacher for 12 years prior to that.

However, she said she has never seen such fear, confusion, and unrest among school employees.

“Nobody asked them,” said Binion.

“I think they were some of the very last considered in this whole situation. Not to mention the personal risks they will take by going into these classrooms and these schools and then taking back to their own families whatever they may be exposed to,” Binion said.

She said despite all the safety measures put in place by the state and local school districts, she says no school district has enough money to put every protocol in place to protect both teachers and students.

“We are not a babysitting service though, and the health protocols and the safety protocols that are required, schools are just not set up to be run that way. It’s just going to take one child, the death of one child unfortunately, you know, maybe for some of these people to take this more seriously,” Binion said.

And while no one may have the magic solution to reopen schools, Binion said she believes doing a hard reopen all at once is not the way to go.

“I think that the path of diligence would be that we would delay the start of school. We would put in place the remote learning model, and we would reevaluate that based on the facts and the evidence that we have of the cases, and once we start flattening and lowering that curve then you can look at some phases of reopening,” Binion explained.

Binion said she had been taking calls from teachers all day long on Monday.

She said they were expressing fears about going to back school.

Binion said she believes reopening schools now will only lead to more cases of COVID-19, and an overwhelmed medical system.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.