Educators hope to see safety precautions before heading back to class

student classroom
Posted at 9:49 PM, Jul 07, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — President Donald Trump says he will put pressure on governors to re-open schools across the county. The President made the comment in a press conference with members of his administration and education leaders promoting a plan to return to the classroom.

Local educators say they want to teach in the classroom but safety comes first.

It’s been months since Grundy County English teacher Beth Brown has seen her students face-to-face. She says many educators are anxious to see their students.

But as President of the Tennessee Education Association, she says before school doors open again precautions need to be put into place.

"We need to be involved in those conversations; we are the ones who are having that daily contact with our students, who are going to be the boots on the ground in dealing with all of our students' needs," said Brown.

President Donald Trump and his administration held an event at the White House to ask states to re-open schools amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open," said President Donald Trump.

As the numbers continue to climb in Tennessee, many districts like Rutherford and Williamson County say they are still working on their plans.

While others, like Murfreesboro and Clarksville-Montgomery County, have draft plans to include parent’s choice of in-person and virtual learning.

"I think there will be times where it will make sense for us to be in buildings and there will be times where it does not," said Amanda Kail.

Kail, president of Metro Nashville Education Association, says she agrees with the president that many teachers want to teach in person; but says there will need to be full cooperation from everyone in the district when it comes to following health guidelines.

"We Need the support of our governments to make sure schools have what they need when they come back, said Kail, "The President really wants our schools to reopen it would be nice to see some federal dollars behind that to make sure that we have all the safety protections we need when we go back."

Kail says that money can make sure every district is prepared to fight this virus inside every classroom with purchasing masks and sanitation wipes to mask.

Brown says federal funding can help districts that choose virtual learning to provide students with internet access.