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Judge puts brakes on return to school for COVID-worried

 
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СообщениеДобавлено: 2.02.2021 11:50    Заголовок сообщения: Judge puts brakes on return to school for COVID-worried Ответить с цитатой

Judge puts brakes on return to school for COVID-worried Minneapolis teachers



Teachers were to resume in-person classes this week.

A judge has granted public school teachers and staff in Minneapolis a temporary restraining order halting the school district's plan to resume in-person classes this week.

Hennepin County District Court Judge Susan Robiner ruled that the Minneapolis School District cannot force teachers and staff back to classrooms if they previously applied for or are in the process of seeking an accommodation to work remotely due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The risk of contracting a serious illness which has killed almost a half-million people in the United States is axiomatically a profound harm," Robiner wrote in her 11-page ruling.

School district officials had planned to resume in-person classes on Monday.

"For me, it was huge," Lindsey West, a fifth-grade teacher at the Barton Open School, told ABC affiliate station KSTP in Minneapolis.

West said she is among those teachers who have applied for accommodation to work from home. She said she lives with her two children and her parents, who are both seniors.

"The idea of exposing them to COVID and something terrible happening to them was the heartbreaking reality that I was dealing with this past week," West said.

The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers filed the request for an injunction against the school district last Thursday, saying in court papers that the district was making unilateral changes to contracts by refusing to grant accommodations for teachers to work remotely.

Lawyers for the union argued that schools should remain closed until COVID-19 vaccinations are administered to teachers and staff and more safety measures are in place.

"If somebody has a high-risk family member, they should have the option to fill out a form -- and other districts have done this -- to seek an accommodation. That doesn't mean MPS has to grant it. But it does mean they have to go through this process," Greta Callahan, president of the teachers union, told KSTP.

In her ruling issued on Saturday, Robiner noted that 40% of district parents said they would not send their children to in-person classes, while 48% said they would. The remaining parents said they were undecided, according to Robiner's ruling.

School district officials said in a statement that despite the ruling, they are moving forward with a new plan to resume in-person classes on Feb. 8, one day before another court hearing is scheduled to further discuss the temporary restraining order on accommodations filed by teachers and staff.

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