As more school districts delay their return to school due to the changing COVID-19 situation, some Hoosiers are crying foul around current reopening plans. A petition titled, Indiana for the Safe Return to Schools, has been circulating online. In a nutshell, the document outlines a stricter set of conditions to return to school, increased access to needed technology for e-learning, and the supplies or facility needs for the eventual and inevitable return:
We are Hoosier educators, school staff, parents, students, and concerned individuals who demand a safe return to campuses.
- We refuse to return to campus until our counties report no new cases of COVID-19 for at least 14 days.
- Until then, we demand that our students and school staff have adequate access to all necessary technology to resume distance learning.
- Upon return, we demand adequate supplies, personnel, and facilities to safely share space on campus and react aggressively to any resurgence of COVID-19.
The petition does go on to list more detailed demands that expand upon the initial calls to action. Suggestions like specific guidelines to reopening, screenings for building entry, not making teachers teach online and in-person simultaneously and not making teachers use regular sick days for COVID related absences.
The petition currently has over eleven-thousand signatures. No small number when you consider the fact that this is an Indiana specific cause.
This petition comes on the heels of several school districts changing their plans to go back to school. Some districts are delaying, some are using hybrid e-learning/in-person models, and some are doing both. Still, most schools are going back to school sooner than later, and the fact that COVID-19 cases in many places are actually more numerous than they were when schools closed the first time prior to spring break has many students, families, and teachers worried.
However, as the rest of the country reopens, the federal government, as well as many state governments are putting pressure on schools to open because schools have to open for the economy to return to normal.
Read the full petition here.