SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Education Association President, Heidi Matthews, joined FOX 13’s Max Roth Tuesday, less than an hour after the UEA called for a delay in the return to schools due to COVID-19.
In a news release, the UEA said the call for a delay is for the safety and wellbeing of students, educators and communities across Utah.
“Let me be clear, there’s no one out there who wants to get back to school with our students more than their teachers, and their counselors and all the educators in the schools,” Matthews said in the interview on FOX13 News at Noon. “But what we have determined is leading up to now we’ve really had a couple choices, doing our best to reopen safely, and continuing with our remote learning. And with the rising cases and our inability to control the virus, that option (return to classrooms) is no longer viable and we are calling on the governor to extend the distance learning program, to delay the opening of face-to-face school in our school buildings so that we have an opportunity to do this right and get back into our schools safely.”
Matthews acknowledged the impact such a decision would have on students and parents, but said this pandemic is something no one has ever faced before.
When asked if the powerful union would strike if the delay isn’t granted, Matthews described teachers as “problem solvers,” and said the hope is educators and all other segments of society can work together to come up with a solution that works for everyone.
Listen to the full interview here: