Ohio Teachers Union Calls for Online Classes as Schools Deal with Covid


The Ohio Education Association (OEA) called for remote learning in counties more heavily affected by the coronavirus.

The teachers union, which represents over a hundred thousand teachers, made the demand in a press release Tuesday urging the state to “enact stronger measures to keep students and educators safe.”

This recommendation comes on the heels of several central Ohio schools announcing they would be starting the school year entirely online.

Citing teachers’ concerns and an internal poll in which “69 percent of education professionals statewide” reported that they “do not believe that schools and campuses will be able to reopen safely in the fall.” The OEA urged that all “purple and red” counties in the states Corona Virus reporting system “open only for remote instruction as long as it is necessary.” 23 Ohio counties are considered at red or purple as of Thursday, according to cleveland.com.

The teachers union also called for “greater accountability and enforcement” of measures such as “masks, sanitization, and social distancing protocols.”

The OEA also had concerns about schools in less affected areas stating that “until a vaccine or cure for COVID-19 is widely available, schools in all counties, including Level 2 (orange) and Level 1 (yellow) should be permitted to open for in-person instruction only if all CDC requirements can be fully met.”

With the union’s board of directors saying  “No education employee in any setting should be forced to choose between their livelihood and their health or safety.”

A number of Central Ohio school districts such as Gahanna Jefferson, Bexley City, Hilliard, Upper Arlington, South-Western City, Groveport Madison, and Columbus City have already decided to, or are likely to decide to start the school year with online-only programs.

Columbus City School District Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon detailed the reasoning behind the move in an open letter published yesterday. Dixon said not being able to have some form of in-person learning in September that “the risk of bringing back 50,000 students and 9,000 employees to our buildings in the fall is far too great.”

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Ben Kolodny is a reporter at The Ohio Star and the Star News Network. Follow Ben on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]





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