Nearly 300 Gwinnett school district employees out sick ahead of 1st day of school

Teachers say they're scared to show up at Gwinnett County school buildings

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Students in Gwinnett County will start their first day of school next week from their homes. But teachers at one elementary school will still report to classrooms, although some tested positive for COVID-19.

There are still privacy laws that prevent school officials from getting into too much detail about who has tested positive for COVID-19, but officials told Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes that nearly 300 employees in the district has now been infected or have been in contact with someone infected.

At least three teachers at Nesbit Elementary School have tested positive and several more are awaiting their test results. This is what teachers said they feared all along.

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Employees marched a couple weeks ago demanding that school officials put their health first.

“So we are still fighting for the staff to have the option to work from home or working from school,” said educator Shavaun Mincey.

Teachers wanted to instruct students from home, so they could stay away from one another and prevent the spread of COVID-19. But teachers still had to physically report to their schools last week and now dozens of teachers are sick.

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Fernandes spoke to some principals and teachers Monday who are hoping officials change their minds and let teachers work from home.

Some of them have grandparents living in the home and they're concerned about their children getting sick as well.

“It’s a pandemic, which means everyone is going through the same thing,” one educator told us. “The playing field is even, no one is getting the best quality education they should be getting. No one. So we’re not behind anyone. So we can always make It up but you can’t teach a dead child.”

Educators also protested because they say thousands of students still don’t have computers or access to Wi-Fi.

“I believe as of March, there were 3,000 of our families who don’t have internet access,” Mincey said. “We need to be able to stand in the gap, reallocate some funds and be able to help our families so that all are successful.”

Parents continue to protest back to school plans in Gwinnett County