Keep our Teachers and Communities Safe: Do Not Re-Open Physical Classrooms in Oregon

Keep our Teachers and Communities Safe: Do Not Re-Open Physical Classrooms in Oregon

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Amelia Farber started this petition to Governor Kate Brown and

My father is a 63 year old teacher in Southern Oregon. He's taught in the same school district for over twenty years and loves helping students succeed. While these past few months have presented challenges teaching remotely and hosting a virtual classroom and study time, he and his students persevered and came out stronger than before.

Now, Oregon is potentially planning to re-open physical classrooms in the fall, forcing teachers and students alike to teach and learn in a physically unsafe space. Not only will students not be required to wear masks if they're under the age of 12, teachers must space children six feet apart. This ask is both unreasonable and, in many cases, completely infeasible due to space restrictions in current classrooms and numbers of students already enrolled (sometimes upwards of 35 students per classroom). Re-opening physical classrooms will put entire communities at risk, and will pose a second major adjustment for educators and students after adjusting to new virtual norms this past spring. Delaying re-opening, and allowing teachers and students to continue their recently-established system of virtual learning will not only save lives, it will preserve a sense of normalcy and security for students in this uncertain time. 

As a former student of Oregon public schools, and as a concerned daughter of an at-risk teacher, I ask that Governor Kate Brown delay physical re-openings of public schools in order to avoid inevitable infections and potential deaths of teachers, students, and parents. Our communities are only able to remain healthy with responsible leadership. We're looking to you, Governor Brown, to ensure that no COVID deaths occur in our public education system. 

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