Coronavirus fears spur teacher protests, resignations and retirements
Teachers across the U.S. are protesting, calling in sick, quitting or taking early retirement rather than return to classrooms during a pandemic killing more than a thousand Americans a day.
Some of the country’s biggest school systems, including in Chicago and Los Angeles, are opting to remain closed to in-person instruction this fall. But others are plowing ahead with getting students back to class. Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi and Tennessee are among the states where schools have started opening, mostly in the suburbs and rural areas.
But the openings have not all gone smoothly, and teachers and their unions are decrying plans they feel don’t take their safety into account.
The 1.7-million American Federation of Teachers is calling for “safety strikes” if teachers are not protected, while the Florida State Education Association is asking a court to overturn a state order mandating that schools physically open five days a week or risk having their funding cut.