Chesterfield teacher ready to hand in resignation over mask choice in schools

Wednesday evening, CCPS sent a letter to parents and staff with additional details regarding...
Wednesday evening, CCPS sent a letter to parents and staff with additional details regarding interim guidance by VDOE and VDH. But concerned teachers say nowhere in the additional information provided does it say parents have to record whether they’ve given permission to their child not to wear a mask.(Chesterfield)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 12:14 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - One Chesterfield teacher is ready to hand in their resignation after Chesterfield School Board voted to give parents the choice on whether to mask or not.

“I don’t think it’s irresponsible of the board, I think it’s criminal,” said the teacher who asked to remain anonymous. “There is no planning whatsoever, we have no contingency plans if there is a major outbreak.”

This teacher is one of many who called out of school today in defiance of the board’s first day of allowing unmasked students. Chesterfield is now one of the largest districts to allow this choice - joining others like Hanover, Powhattan, and Goochland.

The choice is up to parents, but teachers said this will be hard to enforce. Teachers cannot ask students if they have their guardian’s permission to be unmasked, and parents are not required to give any documentation saying their child is allowed.

Parents will also not be notified if there is an unmasked child in a classroom, and unmasked students cannot be separated from the rest of the class.

“We are not allowed to move any students, masked or unmasked,” said the teacher. “Even if a student is uncomfortable and they are masked, and they are sitting next to an unmasked student - we have been told you cannot move that student. They are calling it segregation.”

The classroom itself also cannot be re-arranged to separate masked from unmasked. This teacher says already they have received several emails from parents concerned about the set-up and how the rest of the school year will proceed.

“There’s nothing I can do,” said the teacher. “I have no control over what happens, and its terrifying my parents. I’ve already lost four of my teaching buddies because of these COVID measures and I am sure that more will follow.”

They said if conditions do not change, and further plans are not made, then they will leave Chesterfield schools by the end of the year.

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