Shelby County teachers union responds to senator pushing bill to reopen SCS

Shelby County teachers union responds to senator pushing bill to reopen SCS
(Source: Live 5 News)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A bill that could force Shelby County Schools to reopen for in-person learning has advanced after a vote in the Senate education committee on Wednesday.

The bill is backed by state Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown.

The president of the United Education Association of Shelby County, Danette Stokes, says getting students back in class is going to require some trust.

Debate continues surrounding SCS reopening

“Successfully getting our kids back requires the trust and confidence of families, educators and the community in the decision to open schools,” said Stokes.

Stokes says the majority of parents with students enrolled in SCS do not want to return due to COVID-19 concerns.

“To get the most students to come back to school as soon and safely as possible the trust of families and educators must be built. Sen. Kelsey’s remarks create mistrust and are counterproductive,” said Stokes.

On Wednesday Kelsey said SCS pushing back the reopening date was “purely out of spite” and “purely political.”

“I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone accuse teachers of being spiteful until today,” said Stokes. “That is not who we are. And caring for the well-being of our students and their families is not political, it is part of our professional code of ethics and central to being a teacher.”

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