palm beach county school dsitrict

PALM BEACH SCHOOL DISTRICT: There May Not Be Enough Teachers To Reopen

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School District Staffers “Livid” Over Oswald’s Refusal To Offer COVID-19 Infection Transparency

Teachers, Bus Drivers Refusing to Return May Force School District To Reconsider Plan


BOCA RATON, FL ( — A senior Palm Beach County School District official tells that there is significant concern that teachers and bus drivers will be unwilling to return to in-person work, rendering any return to “brick and mortar” education useless.

“If we don’t have bus drivers to transport the children, and if we don’t have teachers to teach the children, how do we open?”

The concern has been expressed privately and publicly for months, but as Palm Beach County approaches permission from Gov. Ron DeSantis to move to “Phase Two” of Florida’s reopening plan, the concerns are growing louder.

Deputy Superintendent Keith Oswald seemingly hurt the “back to classroom” cause during Wednesday’s school board meeting when he refused to guarantee that school officials would announce COVID-19 infections in schools.

Deputy Superintendent Keith Oswald seemingly hurt the “back to classroom” cause during Wednesday’s school board meeting when he refused to guarantee that school officials would announce COVID-19 infections in schools. He erroneously cited privacy concerns, although schools routinely announce “lice” and “hand, foot and mouth” spreads without identifying specific children.

“There are two major issues,” said the official, speaking to on the condition of anonymity. “Many of the School District’s 180,000 students rely on the school bus to get to school, but we have no safety protocols for transport or cleaning. A packed bus is a packed bus. Bus drivers are saying they’re not subjecting themselves to crowds of kids who will inevitably refuse to wear masks. There is also not enough time between routes to sanitize a bus.”

The second issue:

“Teachers are watching the lawsuit (against the Florida Dept. of Education) and threats of teacher strikes in places like New York. Despite what is said in public meetings, there is just no way that social distancing, lunch in classrooms or mandatory mask use is going to happen. These classrooms aren’t big enough to space desks six feet apart. Teachers are concerned, and many say they’re not coming in. They’re fine to teach virtually, but that’s it for now.”

Frustrated Mayor

Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner expressed frustration with the Palm Beach County School Board during a Friday afternoon news conference on the District’s plan to reopen for “brick and mortar learning” just a week after Palm Beach County moves to phase 2. He has repeatedly said it may be too much for the “system” to handle — businesses reopening and 180,000 students all returning to some sort of “new normal” at the same time. County officials are set to meet with school district officials on Monday.

Teachers contacting over the past several weeks suggest that the school district’s concern about staffing is legitimate.

Among their comments:

“We have sick days, we have vacation days, we have extended leave days,” wrote one. “Parents need to understand that their kids are going to be taught by substitutes for weeks or months if in-person is mandated.”

“There’s no point in starting now only to have to close again in a few months. We teach our kids to analyze the whole problem and find a solution. The School Board needs to do that, too.”

“A real teacher virtually,” said another, “is better than a long-term sub in person. We love these kids. We want to teach these kids. We want to teach these kids in person. But forcing us to pretend that plans are in place isn’t going to work. There’s no point in starting now only to have to close again in a few months. We teach our kids to analyze the whole problem and find a solution. The School Board needs to do that, too.”

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18 thoughts on “PALM BEACH SCHOOL DISTRICT: There May Not Be Enough Teachers To Reopen

  1. I won’t send my kids to school in person if this evil disease pandemic is still there. I love my kids more than anything in the world. My kids are 8 and 6 years old. I prefer my kids and all kids staying home for online distance learning. People and other parents who want their children go to school in person in that evil disease pandemic, they don’t care for their children. But me, I really care for my children and I love my children. Money and jobs are not important than my children. Money and jobs cannot replace my children. Let me share my experience with y’all. I have my kids, they always been sick from school, they got cold, flu, fever and other disease every week at school. But since the school was closed on march because of this evil disease pandemic, my kids are never been sick anymore GRACE OF GOD AND THANKS GOD. This is concerning all parents and other people who care for children. If they open the school in person in that evil disease pandemic it’s calling a CRIME AND CHILD ABUSE ok. Think about that and thank you.

    1. LMAO, THIS “DISEASE” IS LESS WORRISOME THAN THE FLU! My kids were hardly sick before so what were doing?.Perfect attendance all the time here.We have been out to baseball,tournaments,parties,vacations etc…etc…If you want your kids to live in a bubble u ARE causing them great harm. The greatest harm is letting ANYBODY get away with not doing there job. Why is it that teachers are the ONLY workers that refuse to go back and there are morons out there that says that okay? There has not been a single other group to join in there “protest” because its STUPID! When congress didn’t want to go back to do the stimulus bill there was a big uproar to just wear a mask and DO YOUR JOB!…AND NO teachers cannot do their job over the computer, especially kids with special needs. They are violating the LAW that states IN PERSON on over millions of 504s and IEPS!

      1. My once healthy husband contracted the virus. His lungs are now permanently damaged. I’m sure he will love to hear it’s less than the flu. Just because it has not affected you personally, doesn’t mean you have the right to be insensitive and dismissive. Of course, considering you don’t know how to use the correct form of their, you obviously didn’t pay much attention in school either.

      2. I love it when people say “we have been living our lives refusing to comply with CDC guidelines and we are doing just fine” Well, good for you but I guess YOU are all that matters to you. You keep your blinders on and pretend that people that are NOT you have died. You are the problem. Grow up.

      3. You can’t force anyone to work, just like its your choice to send your children back or not. Its the teachers, bus drivers, nurses, coaches administrators and lunch staffs decision to put themselves in that situation or not. Just because you believe one way does not mean everyone needs to follow your beliefs.

      4. It’s “their”, not there. COVID is less worrisome than the flu, you say? Last I checked, the flu doesn’t cause permanent heart and lung damage or blood clots throughout the body with potential stroke and/or death as the outcome. Your cavalier attitude towards this virus that ravages the body with God only knows what long term effects is disturbing. You are clearly one of those people who just won’t “get it” until you or someone you love is hit hard by COVID. How dare you shame teachers for being concerned about their own health and the health of their loved ones? They are afraid of being forced into a small space with no possibility of social distancing from 25-40+ students who probably aren’t going to comply with mask wearing or any number of precautions. They are afraid of being forced into this situation I just described WITHOUT ADEQUATE PPE. You think it’s so safe? Sign up to substitute teach! Get in there and show teachers how it’s done if you’re so confident it’s safe to return to brick and mortar!

      5. So what you’re basically saying is they should just return and do their jobs at their own risk. And bus drivers should just carry the packed bus of children and risk themselves?

        A school is a place of a large gathering. If children are not mandated to wear a mask and they infect one person and they go home and infect their entire family, is that supposed to be okay?

        Have we not seen what has happened with the school districts in Georgia and North Carolina that opened and had to close, and even our own Martin County? Our COVID numbers are higher than both of those states.

        I understand that and strongly agree that students with special needs should be the ONLY group that returns to brick and mortar based upon the services they are in need of being rendered.

        However, I have earned four degrees from online/ distant learning and one thing I found to be of great importance; virtual learning requires commitment, focus, and discipline…cues that should be taught at home…not school. So if your child does not have these qualities, take a look at yourself as you are their FIRST teacher! Oh by the way…are you all wearing masks our in all those awesome public places that you’re visiting?

        Be part of the solution, not the problem.

      6. Teachers did not sign up to risk their lives because you can’t afford to hire a babysitter. It is also not fair to force other students to go to school if they feel unsafe. The only right way to do this is to ensure everyone’s safety. Kids will not have social lives at school anyway because they are not allowed in close contact. You’re better off having an inner circle of like-minded people that also want their kids in close proximity to others. But that’s your decision. Your feelings and wants will
        not affect everyone else’s safety. Hire a babysitter.

    2. You are very welcome to keep your kids locked in home and homeschool them until the rest of school time and that’s ok; However, you have ZERO rights to criticize other parents that want their kids return to school. So please be more open minded and respectful towards choices of other parents, because you don’t know their situation. Peace

      1. Kaya, it would be such a valuable service to the district if you would volunteer your time to substitute teach for those who do think its not worth the risk of becoming one of the thousands per day daily statistics of COVID-19. Volunteer to sub for one of your children’s classes to insure that at least your child’s warm body will be sitting in and taught in a brick and mortar. You and your child(ren), march right on in there and show those cowardly teachers that there is nothing to fear, that the schools are somehow exempt from being touched by the death and devastation happening in other places where people gather. Show them that you, your child(ren) and the other students of your class (who have parents just like you) are different from other schools in every state in the US (who are attempting to ignore the scientific and medical community), and the it is perfectly safe. One you have successfully maintained for 4-weeks, this should be sufficient to prove to EVERYONE that there is no threat. Then we all will be right behind you, ready to jump in.

    3. It sounds like you don’t have to work thus, have the option of staying home to mind the child’s distant learning. Not everyone has this option and why? It goes without saying “money can’t replace any human life” basic necessities of food and shelter is also reality. Stimulus payments have already stalled and can not become the answer to staying inside which also is detrimental to adolescent mental health. This argument is real and not a one sided point of view prevailing against the other. Until we can get a factual scientific, long term vaccine that will provided each parent reassurance it’s safe to return to the brick and mortar school, we are all at risk of our own demise either way. My point of view not the majority speaking.

      I remain

  2. There is a consideration to be made in all this and that is that children travel to schools from 60 to 72 by buses (a small space with a / c) for 20 to 50 mint. In those buses there is no possibility of cleaning it between each of the routes that are 3 per shift in AM and 3 in P.M. Inside the classrooms it will be greater or equal. There is absolutely no guarantee of protection. The best thing will be to demand and wait for these conditions to be created.

    1. The sensible thing to do (just like when there is a hurricane, or any other threat to human lives) is to avoid going into harms way until the threat has passed. If you would not insist that school are opened in the midst of a hurricane, then your speaking about returning contingent upon demands being met is tantamount to your saying in the midst of a tornado threat, “I demand that you clean the bus/classroom and somehow find a way to guarantee to my you will keep it clean, and then I will send my child(ren) in the midst of the tornado/hurricane that is killing thousands of people in the US (hundreds in my state alone) PER DAY; and because I want my child to go, then school personnel needs to buck up once they meet what I think the demands (other than waiting until the threat to human life has passed) should be.


  4. What have the school board and mayor been doing since March? It seems to me they have had more than ample time to develop plans for safe spaces in classrooms, a safe transportation plan. Are these not the same people who are supposed to be modeling for children how to effectively manage time within the information they have? Seems like the adults are modeling poor behavior. Possibly the kids will be better off learning at home if this is the best they can do.

    1. They have been planning based on the assumption that they would have all their staff in place. They have suddenly been tasked with keeping this plan with 40% less staff! Everyone seems to see things from the perspective of only what their own needs are, asking “why can’t we have school just like always in the middle of a pandemic? What’s wrong with the officials? The government is responsible for making everything perfect!” This attitude is unreasonable because it places one person’s perceived “rights” above the rights of those who are tasked with providing the services that make those “rights” possible. Stop being so damn selfish!

    2. I think the biggest issue is that the government refuses to allocate more funds to schools, plus there is already a high demand for bus drivers. That was well before this. There just aren’t resources out there to do things safely, and even then is that really the life we want our children to live? No social life, constantly being terrified of getting sick, seeing classmates even possibly pass away due to this virus. I don’t think that it is worth it long term to harm our children.