CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - More than 500 Cleveland Teachers Union member-leaders met on Thursday and voted to continue remote learning Monday “in light of health and safety concerns,” CTU confirmed.
The vote comes after Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon mandated all teachers, paraprofessionals, and related service providers return to their assigned worksites on Monday to teach remotely from their schools.
No students are scheduled to report to the schools for in-person learning on Monday.
“The members of the Cleveland Teachers Union are eager to come back to the classroom to serve their students in person, but not until we can ensure a safe and orderly return,” said CTU President Shari Obrenski. “We need proven safeguards, like personal protective equipment, distancing, and ventilation, but the District has failed to address our concerns and to provide documentation we have requested.”
The CTU released the following statement:
“Bowing to pressure from Governor Mike DeWine, Gordon tossed out a reopening plan where the district and the CTU were working closely together to put in CDC-recommended safety measures to reopen schools safely. The Governor’s arbitrary deadline for school reopening has created an unreasonable and forced timeline that makes a safe and orderly transition from remote to hybrid impossible. The current timeline for reopening school does not reflect the shared commitment of the CTU and CMSD to a safe and orderly reopening for staff and students.”
Obrenski further stated, “A well-planned, science-based reopening plan with safety mitigations in place was the right way to do this. We had that plan moving, and it got derailed. This rush job is fueled by political expediency, not sound science. We know that our schools will be able to reopen – it’s just not yet. We all want the same thing—to be together in school.”
“On Monday, our teachers; paraprofessionals, and related service providers will work to educate and serve our students and our families as we have all school year.”
CMSD released the following statement:
It is the district’s intent to begin our transition to hybrid learning beginning Monday, March 8th as planned. We remain in discussion with the leadership of the Cleveland Teachers Union (CTU) regarding their concerns.