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Washington state teachers protest school return in Monroe

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 10, 2020

Associated Press

Associated Press

MONROE, Wash. – Teachers in northwestern Washington state have urged school district administrators to stop plans next week to resume some in-person classes for first-graders as coronavirus cases continue to increase.

Teachers in the Monroe School District protested the return-to-school plans at a drive-in rally Monday, honking and chanting while the school board met virtually, KING-TV reported.

“We all want our kids back in school. We miss our students so much and we know we need to be back in buildings, but we can’t do it until it’s safe,” Monroe Education Association President Robyn Hayashi said.

Some educators have also argued that they were not included in the decision-making process.

District administrators announced plans to provide a mix of in-person and at-home learning for first-graders, in compliance with Snohomish Health District guidance recommending limited in-person education for younger students.

“We will be best when we have students in front of us,” Superintendent Justin Blasko said. “We care about our students, we care about our staff, we are trying to make the best decisions at this point for our community, for our students, and to continue to progress our kids moving forward.”

Officials said the district is expected to monitor how the next phase of in-person learning goes before making any further decisions on bringing more students back to classrooms in the coming months.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some – especially older adults and people with existing health problems – it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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