SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — A recent poll conducted by the Granite Education Association shows nearly 70 percent of Granite School District teachers feel unsafe about the district's current back-to-school plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Granite School District is Utah's third-largest. It serves more than 67,000 students in the central Salt Lake Valley and operates 62 elementary, 16 junior high, and eight high schools.
GEA received more than 1,400 responses to its educator survey.
"About 55% said no amount of personal protection equipment (PPE) and cleaning will be enough without the ability to create adequate distance between people in the building. Just 8% said they have no concerns with Granite’s current plan for the 2020-21 school year," a news release from the GEA said.
Special education teacher and GEA President Mike McDonough penned a letter to Superintendent Martin Bates and the Granite Board of Education to raise the concerns he and other educators share.
“I am writing you to plead once again that you prioritize the safety of your staff as well as the students,. [The survey] result is not surprising to any of us who have been reading the emails from educators these last few weeks. Educators are afraid. They are pleading. They are waiting for some sign that the district means what it says when it tells educators ‘we value you'," the letter said.
The GEA renewed its request for the district to modify its back-to-school plans to allow for proper social distancing within school buildings.
According to a news release, McDonough cited several examples of recent training sessions in which presenters asked participants to engage in close group work.
"In the current climate (these actions) are not simply an unnecessary risk, they send the message that the health and safety of the participants are not a priority, and that their concerns are not taken seriously," McDonough wrote.
Granite School District's classes are set to resume on August 24. Click here to read about the district's back-to-school plans.