Nashville's teachers union wants statewide mask mandate, more funding for schools during pandemic

Posted at 8:16 AM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 09:19:18-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — While schools across the country and in Middle Tennessee are starting in-person classes, many teachers feel that it's just not safe to back. Now, they want lawmakers to do more to protect not only them but students, as well.

The Metropolitan Nashville Education Association is one of many teachers unions that’s pushing for more protection for teachers and students. They feel a statewide mask mandate needs to be in place, along with more funding and support – that means fixing broken ventilation systems, along with bringing in more teachers to lower class size and have a nurse staffed at all times.

According to the American Federation of Teachers, 210 of its members have died since the pandemic started. Three of those deaths happened just in the past few weeks, since the school year started.

In Tennessee, the Department of Education’s COVID-19 dashboard now reports 243 cases among school staff across the state.

Rutherford County has 24 staff members with COVID-19, while Sumner County has 10 and Williamson County has seven. Those are all the latest numbers as of last week.

Metro Schools hasn't reported any cases to the state, since they are still learning remotely, but district is letting parents decide by next week if they want their kids back in person.