Today, the OEA Board of Directors acted unanimously to adopt a position statement on safe and equitable reopening plans for schools and campus buildings for the 2020-2021 academic year. (Click here to view) Bottom line: Ohio’s schools and campuses should only reopen for in-person instruction when conditions are met that ensure the safety of students, educators, education support professionals, their families and communities. We are calling on strict adherence across the state to public health standards based on CDC guidelines, including six-foot physical distancing and masks or face coverings for all staff, students and visitors. Counties designated by the state as Level 4 (purple) or Level 3 (red) must open only for remote learning.
The Board took this position after considering feedback of members across the state. In a poll just completed last week, 69% of our members told us they don’t think it will be safe to reopen schools. As your union leaders and fellow members continue advocating at the local level, we are taking this step to support those organizing efforts to protect your health and safety and that of your students and loved ones. Know that at all levels of our union, we have your back.
Our advocacy is strengthened by the incredible work each of you lead in your own locals every day. We are also strengthened by our affiliation with a powerful national union, the NEA, which continues to offer invaluable support and guidance. I encourage you to participate in tonight’s virtual town hall: “All Hands on Deck: Reopening Schools Safely and Equitably.” Click here to join.