Teacher sickout delays school opening

On September 8, the high school was supposed to open, but this date was delayed by the sickout by over 35 teachers.
“[We’re here] because our teachers cancelled on us,” said Nathan Manchaco, a freshman who participated in the rally.
The rally was originally planned as a protest after the teacher call-out caused school’s reopening to be delayed. However, when news came that school would open only one day late, its focus was changed to be a “thank-you message” to the principal, Tony Vining.
The teacher call-out was sparked by safety concerns about the governing board’s decision on when to reopen school.
“I think the biggest thing is just the amount of students in my classroom,” said Jennifer Cento, an English teacher.
In addition to the amount of people in the classroom, other concerns that have been voiced are mask wearing, cleaning protocol, and the ability to physically distance.
Teachers are also concerned about the difficulty of helping students, because COVID-19 safety precautions have made it impossible to get closer than six feet.
“As a teacher who’s really hands-on, it’s really hard to be distant from my students. If a student asks me a question I don’t want to have to shout across the room… I also think it’s even harder because kids want me to show me their work or what they’re doing on their laptop and I can’t touch it… I am trying to be safe,” said Cento.
Many people are concerned about the permanence of in-person school. Another reason for not opening on September 8 cited by teachers is the disruption of going back and forth between online and in-person school. Others believe that following all of the procedures will ensure that school remains open.
“If we follow all the procedures, we should be fine,” said Kaitlyn King, a junior.
The rally was attended by about 30 people and received coverage by many other news sources. The first case of a COVID infection among students was on Friday, September 18.