Cobb County teachers are upset that they will have to return to the classroom as coronavirus surges across Georgia.
When school starts back this semester, students can choose to be in-person or virtual, but teachers weren’t given the choice, if they want to keep their jobs.
Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was in Cobb, where 6,000 teachers and parents have signed a petition begging Superintendent Chris Ragsdale to let them teach from home.
[SPECIAL SECTION: Coronavirus Pandemic in Georgia]
- Man accused of threatening to shoot Nancy Pelosi was banned from metro Atlanta school
- QUICK LINKS: Here’s where you can get COVID-19 vaccines in metro Atlanta
- Health department websites to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments crash
Connie Jackson with the Cobb County Association of Educators is speaking out on behalf of those teachers.
“You’ve got teachers who are literally on the verge of a nervous breakdown,” Jackson said. “We already had one teacher pass away. We have several teachers and bus drivers in the hospital, some in critical care, and it’s just not acceptable.”
There’s a rumor going around claiming that public health officials are no longer helping school officials contact trace for COVID-19.
Public health officials said that just isn’t true.
Cobb School officials sent Channel 2 Action News this statement:
“We are aware of wildly inaccurate and irresponsible rumors being spread as part of a social media and traditional media pressure campaign, to pressure the District to ONLY offer remote classrooms,” a spokesperson said. “We continue to make decisions based on local and state public health guidance and remain committed to offering face to face and remote classrooms.”
Jackson said Cobb Schools’ teacher population is a little bit older, and the decision puts hundreds, if not thousands, of people in jeopardy.
“We need our Superintendent to do what he said,” Jackson said. “He said he would base everything on data, and the data says we shouldn’t be back in school.”
Cobb officials would not reveal the current number of COVID cases in any of their schools.
A teacher at Hill Grove High School said that 100 students were sent home Monday due to COVID-19 exposure, and teachers don’t know how these schools can stay open.
Hendricks Elementary School teacher Patrick Key died of COVID-19 a few days after Christmas after he got sick at school.
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]