Hampton teachers push back on readiness for in-person learning

Posted at 10:32 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 23:48:54-04

HAMPTON, Va.— Hampton is moving forward with in-person learning next week despite pushback from some parents and teachers.

The Hampton City School Board held a special meeting at Jones Magnet Middle School Tuesday evening to address the concerns of teachers like Melissa Still, who says she needs more time before she’s ready to walk back into the classroom.

“Something as simple as an extra week or two to make sure that everything is correctly in place rather than bring students in and correct problems as they pop up - that would make me feel a lot more comfortable,” said Still.

Still is a language arts teacher at Jones. She brought a sign with her that read, “Did you ask about my concerns before you decided to open this building?”

“One of the major concerns that we have is that we as teachers were never approached with this reopening plan prior to it being made public,” said Still.

The board approved a plan last Wednesday to bring vulnerable students, Pre-K - 3rd and 6th grade students back to class, except for those who have opted to stay virtual.

The meeting was not open for public comment, but a crowd with many teachers wearing the color “Red for Ed.” attended in disapproval of in-person learning.

“Every letter that I received from faculty and staff all had a safety issue in them,” said one school board member.

The board says it wants to make sure the district is moving in the right direction with safety and due diligence.

Safety and sanitizing measures were discussed to help reassure teachers that they would have the supplies they need.

The meeting lasted more than two and a half hours. Despite concerns raised by teachers and some board members, the board is moving forward with their plans to return to in-person learning next Nov. 4.

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