Jefferson Parish teachers rally against August 12 school reopening

Jefferson Parish teachers rally

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Dozens of teachers, parents and school bus drivers rallied at Jefferson Parish school headquarters this afternoon to oppose the opening of the state’s largest school district in two weeks. That district also resides in a parish which has some of the worst COVID numbers in the state.

They rallied in the noonday sun hoping school board members are listening

“I teach in high school. Kids are silly, if they take off their mask, we’re all exposed,” said high school teacher Keyra Johnson.

Jefferson Parish teachers have submitted a list of 160 concerns about opening school on August 12. They want to know things like, who will enforce social distancing rules, on playgrounds, and busses.

"That's 33 kids on a bus, and thee's no way to practice social distancing with 33 kids on the bus," said school bus driver Everett Armand.

In the middle of the rally, word came down, that Jefferson Parish president Cynthia Lee Sheng was suggesting that school officials should wait until after Labor Day to begin classes, giving hope to some of the 80 or so, in attendance.

"Power to the people...power to the people," they chanted.

At this point, the parish president’s suggestion is merely a suggestion. Though there’s been no official call for a strike, some at the rally expressed support.

"Enough is enough, if you don't go, there's nothing they can do but to bow to your will," said protestor and educator Ashonta Wyatt.

The school system put out a statement saying that the safety of students and employees is a 'top responsibility.' They also said their re-opening plan was put together with input from employees and the community. and plans to re-open August 12th, at this point, haven't changed.

The school system says if you have any suggestions as to how to proceed, you can go to their website here.

At this point, 40 percent of Jefferson students have signed up for virtual learning classes, meaning they will receive on-line instruction instead of going to classes.

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