“With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage across Texas, the health and safety of students, educators and our communities need to remain our first priority,” said TSTA President Noel Candelaria. “The pandemic has struck in the vast majority of Texas’ 254 counties, and more than 1,200 new cases were reported yesterday. Fourteen people died of COVID-19 in Dallas County alone, a daily high for Dallas.”

The Texas State Teachers Association said that June 1 is too early to reopen school buildings for summer school classes and demanded that the state and local school districts agree to enforce a detailed list of safety requirements for school campuses before reopening buildings to students and school employees.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage across Texas, the health and safety of students, educators and our communities need to remain our first priority,” said TSTA President Noel Candelaria. “The pandemic has struck in the vast majority of Texas’ 254 counties, and more than 1,200 new cases were reported yesterday. Fourteen people died of COVID-19 in Dallas County alone, a daily high for Dallas.”

“By rushing to allow school buildings to reopen on June 1, less than six weeks from now, Gov. Abbott is creating an illusion that the worst of this health crisis is behind us. It is not. People are still getting sick and dying in large numbers and reopening school buildings too soon will increase the peril,” Candelaria added.

“TSTA has developed a list of safety requirements that we believe the state should require of school districts before districts are allowed to reopen their campuses. These requirements follow the guidelines originally recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, not the politically watered-down version released by the White House. Our requirements also reflect concerns expressed by our members who, unlike the governor, will be required to reenter school buildings when campuses are reopened,” he said.

“We are demanding, among other things, adequate supplies of protective gear for everyone in every school-work place, steps that must be taken to enforce social distancing and sanitation practices and strong enforcement. Half-hearted enforcement will endanger students and educators, and our members will not stand for it on their campuses.”