The Prince George’s County teachers' union sent an open letter to the school board and public schools CEO Monica Goldson requesting COVID-19 safety precautions be put in place before schools reopen in March.
The letter includes requests for filtration systems in every room, regular testing, contact tracing, protective gear for staff and students, hazard pay, and, most of all, more vaccinations.
“The governor’s proclamation that everybody should be going back March 1 is ridiculous when everybody who wants the vaccine cannot get the vaccine by that time,” said Theresa Mitchell Dudley, president of the Prince George’s County Educators' Association.
Dudley finds the move to return to the classroom unjust and is looking for a change in procedure.
“Basically, what he did was, he pushed us up against that wall, and while the Maryland law says we’re not supposed to have job actions, our contracts also say that we should be working in a safe environment,” she said.
The vaccinated population in D.C. may be overestimated in this map because some non-residents who work in D.C. are included in the totals.
The union, which represents more than 10,000 teachers and staff in Prince George’s County Public Schools, wants to see everyone participate in all aspects of reopening.
“We want to make sure that the staff and also the students are protected, because they are vulnerable,” said Nicole West, a parent of a student with special needs.
A spokesman for Prince George’s County Public Schools told News4 that it received the letter from the teachers and is working to provide a response to both the union and the public.