DALLAS - The head of a local teachers' union said that even with the latest guidance from the Texas Education agency, there are still health concerns when classrooms eventually reopen.
Many teachers believe that even though learning online is not optimal by any means, it is by far the safest option.
Teachers in Texas protested at the State Capitol earlier this week, demanding school re-openings be delayed.
By Friday, the TEA had changed its tune about school re-openings, now allowing districts to go online-only for up to eight weeks.
In Dallas County, schools have been ordered to remain online-only until at least Labor Day.
Dallas Alliance AFT President Rena Honea said that likely won't be long enough.
“My personal view is that September 8th is very soon. We have not seen any decline in the Dallas area that indicates that we are getting a better handle on the pandemic, medically,” Honea said.
As of Monday, Texas had seen a 110 percent increase in cases linked to childcare centers, with most of them being staff.
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A first-grade teacher in Florida went above and beyond last week to cheer up one of her students who appeared to be having a hard time with the coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Honea fears that, statistically, teachers will be the ones getting sick.
“Contracting the virus, and then the fear of taking it home to family members. That’s something that people should not have to make that choice,” she explained.
Teachers in the Mid Cities received an email Thursday about a member of HEB ISD’s custodial team passing away after testing positive.
It states that, “…the employee did not expose any other district employees.”
Honea has more practical questions about what happens if and when a staff member does test positive.
“If people do get sick, will there be enough substitutes? What will be the answer for the classroom [and] students? Will they be quarantined for 14 days? Is everyone sent home in the building? Is it only the class?” she asked.
Honea said that there's a real fear right now among teachers that even with protections put in place, it won’t be enough.