HOUSTON - Questions continue to arise on how to safely re-open schools this month. On Thursday, teachers chimed in to HISD’s board meeting pleading for the district to continue keeping educators and students safe.
HISD says so far, 233 of their employees have contracted COVID-19. The school year is set to begin virtually on September 8 with in-person learning pushed back until at least mid-October.
HISD teachers tell FOX 26 that although they’re ready to go back, they want to do it safely.
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Michelle Williams says she looks forward to the day she can resume her passion for teaching students, in-person.
"A lot of people have teachers pegged as we don't want to go back to work. I want to go back to work, it's routine. This is my 21st year in education and to have that stop, it is disruptive to my life," Williams said.
By day, Williams is a 9th-grade math interventionist teacher at Kashmere High School, but by night, she’s a mother and a grandmother, who's worried about putting her vulnerable family members in jeopardy.
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"Right now, I am more concerned about, you know, my son and exposing him to the Coronavirus because he does have an underlying health condition that put him puts him at risk. And I definitely, you know, don't want to have that on my conscious that I can put him at risk, and he can lose his life because of work," Williams said.
Williams says she’s worried about having ample PPE and sanitation supplies. With an average class size of about 25 students, social distancing also gets tricky.
According to HISD, 233 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.
Some of them are close friends of Williams.
"My friend has asthma and some other underlying health conditions and we didn't know if she was going to make it. What we can control is within the school building, but you can't control where people go when they leave school. And the same thing with children," Williams said.
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During the HISD board meeting Thursday, multiple other teachers came forward, applauding trustees for delaying in-person learning until at least October 19.
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They’re now urging administrators to continue prioritizing the health and safety of students and teachers at HISD.
"We are in the middle of a pandemic, and right now the important thing is to keep kids alive," said one speaker.