Teresa Knapp Gordon, president of the Little Rock Education Association, held a Zoom news conference on her lunch break today to talk about the group’s objection to in-person classes in the Little Rock School District.
She reiterated complaints about inadequate sanitary efforts in rooms, lack of social distancing and a reluctance of some administrators to report a need for quarantine because a school might be viewed in a bad light if on the list of schools shifting to alernate instruction.
“This is not some football game or volleyball game,” she said.
She also commented, “Someone is going to die in this school district if we continue in this manner.”
She said she wasn’t ready to give a firm figure on teacher participation in insisting to work only virtually. She said students were being put together in gyms and auditoriums, as they were before today, because a shortage of teachers.
How long will this go on? Until there are improvements, she replied. “Schools are not safe,” she said.
And what if the district terminates teachers? Those taking action were prepared to take that risk, Gordon said. “Our students are that important. Our lives are that important. … This is about keeping people safe. When our governor is not willing to do it, when we are being put at risk every single day because of the action of others, discipline should not be the first thought that comes to mind.”