Protect New Orleans Teachers as Schools Restart

Protect New Orleans Teachers as Schools Restart

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Whitney Henderson
Whitney Henderson signed this petition

Teachers, support staff, and paraprofessionals show their dedication and commitment to students and families every day. Yet many have courageously stepped up during this pandemic in extraordinary ways to ensure that students can continue learning- whether it’s personally delivering hard-copies of their lessons to students with limited access or even helping connect families to more long-term options for food.   
 
But now is the time that they need YOUR support. 
 
On Tuesday, July 21st, NOLA Public Schools announced that all schools will start the 20/21 school year with distance learning with a goal of getting kids back into classrooms after Labor Day. Yet, the decision to allow school staff to teach virtually or at their school sites during this time has been left up to individual schools.

As a result, some schools are requiring teachers, support staff, and paraprofessionals to work in the building to facilitate virtual learning, a task that could be done more safely at home. This puts many educators at risk. 
 
We are calling on Superintendent Henderson Lewis and the members of the Orleans Parish School Board to use their collective power to pressure schools to ensure that educators are kept safe. 

Our Three Demands:
Demand #1: That during virtual learning and professional development, in-person attendance be optional for teachers, support staff and paraprofessionals. Some schools in New Orleans have already protected their teachers in this way, but these protections should be afforded to all teachers.
Demand #2: That schools not resume in-person instruction until COVID-19 cases in Orleans Parish decrease to 5% positive and 50 or less new cases for 7 consecutive days.
Demand #3: That any plan for in-person attendance include regular and prioritized COVID-19 testing for all school staff. 
 
Two Ways You Can Take Action:
#1- SIGN THE PETITION! Tell us why you signed by leaving a comment. Your words will be submitted as a public comment at the Orleans Parish School Board meeting this week.

#2- Email the board restating the three petition demands and ask that they create policy to protect teachers, support staff and paraprofessionals. 

Dr. Henderson LewisSuperintendent@opsb.us

Ethan Ashley - Dist. 2 President: Board_Member2@opsb.us 

Nolan Marshall, Jr. - Dist. 7 - Board_Member7@opsb.us 

Leslie Ellison - Dist. 4 - Board_Member4@opsb.us

Sarah Newell Usdin - Dist. 3 - Board_Member3@opsb.us

John A. Brown, Sr - Dist. 1 - Board_Member1@opsb.us 

Woody Koppel - Dist. 6 Vice President - Board_Member6@opsb.us

Griselda Jackson - Dist 5 - Board_Member5@opsb.us
 
It’s all of our responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community which has already disproportionately affected Black and Brown people in New Orleans and beyond, and teachers need to be healthy in order to continue supporting the growth and achievement of our students. None of us are safe until all of us are safe.
Sign the petition.
Email the board.