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'We want to go back but we have to do it safely' | Forsyth County Association of Educators protest

Val Young, FCAE President, said that she wants kids back in the classroom but teachers need assurances first that it's safe enough.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Close to 100 teachers from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools protested outside of the Education Building Tuesday afternoon while school leaders met virtually to discuss indicators surrounding the reentry plan. 

The Forsyth County Association of Educators (FCAE) organized the demonstration. 

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Val Young, FCAE President, said that she wants kids back in the classroom but teachers need assurances first that it's safe enough.

This is the letter that was sent to the Board of Education:

The Forsyth County Association of Educators is an advocate for all of the students, parents and educators of this community.  We strive to be solution minded. To that end, we have suggestions for reentry to school that have the safety of all students, parents and staff as our first priority. If we do not have a clear plan for opening schools, using data to drive our decision, we will fail our families and staff. Failure is not an option when it comes to the lives of our students, parents and staff.

Please consider the list of suggestions that we feel will allow us to reopen schools safely:

-We need a clear threshold number for opening (3%-5%) and daily focus on the threshold number after.

-Plan for closing schools if data shows an upward trend over the (3%-5%)

-More cleaning staff to help sanitize the buildings

-More staff operating the check-in stations

-More staff to escort our younger students to class

-Uniform COVID-19 policies for the district (no school  decision), including but not limited to masks (types approved), classroom setup, staff dress code, etc.

Please know that FCAE is offering these suggestions to help make for a safe return to schools, working to advocate for all students, parents and staff.

Val Young, President and the Board of Forsyth County Association of Educator

WFMY News 2's Jess Winters interviewed Young, and asked what her biggest concern surrounding reentry was.

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"Do we have enough staffing, enough nurses?" she questioned. "When you think about screening children, do we have enough people to screen our kids?"

The district said there will be a nurse extender, or nursing assistant, assigned to every school at least one day a week.

Also, there will be trained staff and student screening teams in every school to take temperatures. 

The FCAE demonstration was held at 3:45 p.m. and ended at 5:30 p.m. Dozens of teachers chanted and held up signs for the duration.

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