Education

Boston teachers and parents call for remote learning, following city’s rise in COVID-19 positivity rate

The protest came a day after Mayor Marty Walsh said “schools are safe.”

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Parents and teachers in Boston gathered Saturday afternoon in Dorchester for a car caravan and rally to call for the closure of all schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Participants in the “Safety First! Kids First” event called for Boston Public Schools to designate the district’s “safest buildings” to provide in-person services for high needs students, while switching all other learners and teachers to remote learning given the recent jump in the positive test rate in the city.

Allow teachers to focus on remote learning and make it the best that it can possibly be,” organizers of the event wrote on Facebook

The rally organizers encouraged community members to call Boston 311 and the district superintendent’s office to express support for taking those steps. 

The rally follows a day after Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told reporters all city schools “are safe,” according to WHDH.

“Our schools are safe,” Walsh told reporters after getting a flu shot at City Hall. “We’re cleaning them down and we have all the proper protocols in place and PPE. There has been some talk that we don’t have enough personal protective equipment, but that is just simply not true … There has been some talk that we don’t have the cleaning supplies in buildings and that is not true.”

The Boston Teachers Union filed a lawsuit Thursday to challenge the district’s decision to continue some in-person learning. The union alleges the decision is in violation of an agreement that requires a switch to all-remote learning should the city’s coronavirus positivity rate rise above 4 percent. City officials announced Wednesday that in response to the coronavirus positivity rate reaching 4.1 percent, the district would delay the next phase of its reopening, but those students who had already returned to classrooms, including those with special needs, would continue their in-person instruction.

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According to the Boston Herald, the union’s suit will be heard Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court.

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