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The head of Dallas public schools says that the district’s teachers should be in their classrooms as the new year begins with or without students because it is “unprofessional” and distracting to teach lessons from home.
In an interview with Fox News’ “The Story” Wednesday, Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said despite his views, he is getting a lot of pushback from teachers who say they’re concerned about returning to in-person instruction due to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the major complaints from teachers unions all over the country regarding a return to the classroom this fall is that they fear children will spread coronavirus to instructors.
But under Hinojosa’s plan, teachers would be in empty classrooms — but that was still unacceptable to many.
(Source: Fox News)
“We had a difficult struggle enforcing that expectation,” Hinojosa said. “One of the reasons is that our local county health officials said they didn’t want teachers even out in the community, and so we had to back down from that expectation.
“But it is unprofessional to have your dogs bark while you are trying to teach a lesson to students,” Hinojosa said. “We had a difficult struggle enforcing that expectation … so we had to back down off of that one, but we’re continuing to press forward. We need students back in the building whenever possible.”
Host Martha MacCallum noted that Hinojosa has expressed concern that students are missing out on more effective learning while suggesting that teachers were being hypocritical for going out into public to shop and do other things while refusing to teach in-person classes.
“Well, I think there’s a lot of fear out there,” the superintendent responded. “When we asked teachers who was coming back, 90 percent said they would come back in person, but when we had a spike in Texas, that went down to 60 percent,” he said.
“We’re only down to two-thirds of them … half of our parents want to come back, but we need to have our teachers there to execute in-person instruction.”
He added that the school district has also been forced to move back the start of the school year from Aug. 17 to Sept. 8.
“We’re trying to work with everybody, but this is a no-win situation for everybody if we don’t get a solution soon,” Hinojosa added.
Earlier this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics cited several studies showing that children rarely spread COVID-19 to adults.
“Almost 6 months into the pandemic, accumulating evidence and collective experience argue that children, particularly school-aged children, are far less important drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission than adults,” the academy noted.
“Therefore, serious consideration should be paid toward strategies that allow schools to remain open, even during periods of COVID-19 spread.”
After MacCallum played video clips of a recent school board meeting in Georgia, in which parents and teachers argued for and against having kids attending in-person classes, Hinojosa said that the Dallas school board had meetings planned Thursday and that 45 speakers were scheduled.
“It’s gonna be a long meeting, all day long, but we gotta do what’s best for everybody, and so we’re trying to find a solution,” he said.
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