AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas teachers group says schools across the state are violating COVID safety guidelines. It comes just about two weeks after many school districts reopened for in-person learning.
The Texas State Teachers Association says more than 650 of the group's members from 135 districts reported issues. Those range from difficulties with ventilation systems to inadequate supplies for protecting themselves and their classes from the coronavirus. Teachers also say the governor's mask mandate and social distancing rules aren't being fully followed.
“The biggest issue our members are raising involves inadequate accommodations for high-risk employees or those with high-risk dependents at home. These teachers with underlying health conditions should be allowed to teach remotely from home, but in many cases they are being required to teach from their classrooms or risk losing their jobs,” TSTA President Ovidia Molina said in a statement.
TSTA also filed its first grievance over COVID safety concerns against Killeen ISD.
“We are trying to ensure the safety of our staff and in return, the safety of our students in Killeen,” Molina told Capital Tonight.
A spokesperson for the district would not comment on the complaint, which notes requests for more effective air filters have been denied and employees who have the most interaction with children are not provided face shields.
"It would be highly inappropriate for either party to discuss a grievance before the grievance process is adhered to, and has been fully exhausted, particularly in an effort to forge public opinion," a spokesperson for the district told us in a statement.
Molina says she expects her organization will file more grievances as teachers respond with more safety violations.