Some Connecticut teachers will be wearing black and some will be wearing red Wednesday. But both groups agree the best place for kids is in a classroom at school.
“We don’t want to return to full remote anywhere for a long-term approach. That’s damaging to not just students, but it’s damaging to the adults as well,” said Kate Dias, president of the Connecticut Education Association.
Dias says that means more at-home tests, masks and the ability to go remote.
“It is for short-term opportunities to provide either relief or continued instruction when there’s a reduction in staff and I think we recognize that long-term remote is nobody’s first choice,” Dias says.
Dias says they are not advocating for any lengthy period of remote learning.
“We recognize that in-person learning is a priority but we also need to be flexible,” Dias says.
She doesn’t see the call by an Ellington High School teacher as much different.
“I think anyone who shows up in red on Wednesday is really messaging on point with us that what we are asking for is respectfully keeping kids in school in a safe manner,” Dias says.
Ellington High School Teacher Aaron Hoffman is calling on teachers to wear red.
“The remote learning at this point is a slippery slope and the slippery slope is we learned remote learning was not a positive experience for kids in our state,” Hoffman says.
Hoffman says they need to return to normal.
“We have significant signs of kids who are struggling with mental health and anxiety as a result of the last two years. Their education has been disrupted multiple times,” he says. “The remote learning needs to not be an option and continues to not be an option so districts need to figure out how to keep in-person learning happening.”
Gov. Ned Lamont agrees.
“There’s no better choice than a great teacher in a Connecticut classroom,” he says.
More than 7,600 students were out with COVID last week.
“We’re in a pandemic and there’s a lot of infections, fortunately milder repercussions, but um that doesn’t mean you’re not cautious. But that doesn’t mean we deny kids the opportunity to be in a classroom as long as we can keep them there safely,” Lamont says.