Texas Teachers Writing Their Wills As State Promises To Open Schools In The Fall
Fears over the spread of coronavirus in schools after Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) unveiled plans to reopen his state’s schools in the fall has driven some teachers to begin writing wills, according to Newsweek.
- Abbott’s plan requires schools in Texas to reopen in August, and while a child’s parents can elect to keep their child at home for distance learning, teachers will be required to report to work.
- Executive Director of the United Educators Association Steven Poole wrote in a letter that the governor’s plan will make it impossible to follow social distancing guidelines and puts employees at a greater risk of contracting Covid-19:
"Many of our teachers, staff, or their family members have underlying health conditions that would place them at severe risk of the contract COVID-19. While parents are given options to send their children to school or stay home for virtual instruction, teachers and staff do not have that option."
- Teacher Jessica Schwinn also reacted to the decision, writing in a tweet:
"It's pretty atrocious that in preparation for returning to school this fall, teachers are writing wills, getting medical power of attorney established, and taking out extra life insurance. This country has chosen it's priorities. It's money over people."
- The Houston Federation of Teachers also gave a statement about the planned reopening, saying:
"It leaves the details up to the school districts, provides no additional funding, and does not even meet the low Threshold set by the White House in April."
- Some school districts like the El Paso school district have announced plans to defy Gov. Abbott’s order. Schools in El Paso are not expected to open until at least September, per an order from city-county health authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza. However, Abbott could potentially block the order and force schools to reopen.
- Texas has reported a total of 274,712 positive cases of Covid-19, and the number continues to grow.