SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC4 News) – Educators within the Granite School District are gathered in front of the district office on Tuesday to protest “overcrowded classrooms” when school starts in the fall.
Teachers voiced many concerns surrounding going back to physical classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of their main concerns is having a full class and not being able to properly social distance.
Many educators want the school board to implement a schedule where students attend physical classrooms on alternating days, saying this will cut down on the number of students in the classroom at a time, and help slow the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms.
“We just love our students and we know the importance of them coming back for face to face learning,” said Stephanie Gonzalez, a teacher within the Granite School District. “We just want to do it in a safe way.”
“I understand as a parent that, that is not the easiest of schedules because that means shuffling kids. That means shuffling my own kids so I can go to school and I can teach. But what it does is it reduces those class sizes and it reduces the amount of kids in a tiny classroom,” explained another teacher within the Granite School District, who did not want to be identified.
“We’ve actually produced some videos that are on our website that show how in some of our smallest classroom spaces, you can still fit up to 30 desks and have those students be six feet apart and still provide a natural eight to 10 foot space for the teacher,” Ben Horsley, Spokesperson, Granite School District, told ABC4 News. “And those those layouts can be modified to make it as comfortable as possible.”
Tuesday’s protest took place before a school board meeting. Teachers held up signs and chanted “half the students, half the risk,” as board members walked passed them to go into their meeting.
To read what steps the Granite School District is taking during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of children, click here.