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‘Stop playing games’: Ohio teachers say DeWine’s vaccine plan may send students inside school before it’s safe

19 News Outbreak Alert Covid and the classroom
19 News Outbreak Alert Covid and the classroom(WOIO)
Updated: Jan. 22, 2021 at 5:49 AM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A group of Ohio teachers released a letter on Thursday that criticizes Gov. DeWine’s coronavirus vaccine rollout plan.

On Tuesday, DeWine said 96% of Ohio public school districts have committed to an in-person or hybrid model by March 1.

The letter, signed by a slew of local teacher’s union leaders, said this commitment only came after eligibility for the vaccine was used as a bargaining chip.

“Parents across the state now have unrealistic expectations for a March 1 reopening that simply will not be possible in many school districts,” the letter read. “In some districts, these expectations are already pushing superintendents to announce and plan for reopening before it is safe.”

The letter claims no educators or staff will be fully vaccinated by March 1 due to the state’s vaccine distribution timeline.

Teachers in school districts that plan to return, at least partially, to in-person learning may get their first shot on Feb. 1, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

“DeWine should make good on his pledge to prioritize pre-K to 12 school employees, and he should do so without any coerced preconditions,” the letter said.

Representatives from the Ohio Federation of Teachers, Ohio Education Association and an independent Akron union signed the letter.

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