CORONAVIRUS: Is Palm Beach County Rushing To Unsafely Reopen Schools?

TEACHERS: “We Fear Mask Enforcement, Rules That Can Never Be Followed.”

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Teachers contacting BocaNewsNow.com over the past few days and again in the hours after Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner announced a goal to move to “Phase 2” promptly say they are dismayed, scared, and convinced that there is a concerted effort between Commissioners and the School District to rush kids back into classrooms.

BocaNewsNow.com knows of no coordinated plan. The “Phase 2” request, announced Friday, comes as Palm Beach County recorded rising infections and deaths. The county’s roller coaster “percent positive” rate hit a near all-time high this week before dropping, rising, and dropping again.

We have heard from elementary, middle and high school teachers both in South Palm Beach County and other sections of the area not traditionally covered by BocaNewsNow.com. They are universally concerned that commissioners and school board members will yield to political pressure and reopen schools without smart, viable plans.


Here are some of the comments we’ve received:


“There is no way we can keep kids apart. It’s not going to happen.”

“How do you tell a first grader to stop chewing on a facial covering?”


“What happens when a child has an asthma attack in school but as a teacher I can’t see there’s a problem because the kid’s mouth is covered by a piece of cloth?”


“What happens when a child has an asthma attack in school but as a teacher I can’t see there’s a problem because the kid’s mouth is covered by a piece of cloth?”

“Who is cleaning my classroom when food falls and drinks spill in the middle of the day?” (CDC guidelines call for minimal cafeteria use, pushing meals into classrooms).

“Am I going to face discipline from a principal who has no medical training but now acts like they’re the CDC?”

“We are overcrowded the way it is. How are we keeping kids away from each other in a classroom? Where is this space coming from? I’ve had four kids at a table for five years. Sometimes five kids.”

Earlier Friday, the Palm Beach County School District sent a survey to parents county-wide, asking for input on reopening plans. Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy announced earlier he will make a definitive announcement about the new school year no later than July 15th.

The 2020-2021 school year is scheduled to start August 10th.

Not one teacher contacting BocaNewsNow.com said that they are supportive of a reopening in August.

But as another teacher explained, educators have little say as to what will happen.


“Florida is a right to work state. Our union is weak. Teachers in other parts of the country can strike if they don’t like new mandates or rules. Here in Florida, all we can do is complain as administrators threaten us with write-ups if we don’t comply.”


“Florida is a right to work state. Our union is weak. Teachers in other parts of the country can strike if they don’t like new mandates or rules. Here in Florida, all we can do is complain as administrators threaten us with write-ups if we don’t comply.”


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