Even though the coronavirus pandemic has yet to subside, some businesses around the country are preparing to re-open following lockdown measures. In Georgia, the school system is even set to re-open. But, according to teachers in the state, the re-opening of the school system doesn't exactly leave them in the best position.
Fox 5 Atlanta reported that some teachers in the Gwinnett County school system in Georgia are particularly concerned about having to go back to the classroom amidst this ongoing health crisis. The publication noted that employees in the district received a memo on Thursday which read that "teleworking or working remotely is not an available alternative" during this time. According to one elementary school teacher, leaving them without any options is not acceptable. The teacher, whose identity was not revealed in the outlet's piece, said, "I think it's another way that we're being devalued of the work that we have been putting in to support students and implies that we're not doing our jobs from home. Even with our kids here."
Gwinnett County Schools (in Georgia) IS MAKING THEIR TEACHERS COME BACK TO SCHOOL TO FINISH OUT THE SEMESTER. They are doing online classes FROM THEIR CLASSROOMS. If they can't return because their kids are at home, they lose 33% of their pay. DISGUSTINGhttps://t.co/PQUVSUKpzu— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) May 2, 2020
Teachers are reportedly expected to return to the classroom on May 18, according to school administrators in the county. If they are not able to come into the classroom, either because of coronavirus-related conditions or because their child's school or daycare is closed, their other option is to apply for leave time under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. However, that is not a simple solution for the issue at hand. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, teachers have said that they will only earn two-thirds of their salary. One teacher even told the news outlet, "If we were able to use our sick or personal time, obviously we'd be able to be paid our full salary."
"All this can be done from home but we all need to be in the building," yet another teacher told Fox 5 Atlanta. It is said that school administrators are doing their best to adhere to strict social distancing and safety measures as teachers are set to go back to the classrooms. Officials within the Gwinnett school system in Georgia have also claimed that there are teachers who are actually looking forward to going back to the classroom in order to work.