Considering the continued increase in positive cases in the coronavirus pandemic in Florida and the reality of some form of return to schools, the United School Employees of Pasco held a meeting of our school-based union representatives yesterday. Pascoâ€™s children must not return to schools until the COVID-19 numbers for Pasco show a decline in positive cases. The numbers show a steady increase in positive tests. Why would the state put us in a situation where positive numbers are higher than when we went intoÂ a â€œStay at homeâ€ order? The meeting was attended using the â€œZoomâ€ platform by over 100 reps and a thorough review of the recent USEP Survey was conducted.
After a significant discussion of the survey that contained over 3,800 responses from teachers and SRP, and members expressing individual concerns for a safe return, the Rep Council endorsed the following written resolution:
â€œIn order to promote health and safety for students and staff, USEP will strongly advocate for the District to conduct schools in a Distance Learning only format until there is a 14-Day downward trend in positive COVID-19 casesâ€
This supports the recommended CDC guidelines. USEP will now take action to move the Pasco County School District to modify its position of a â€œbrick & mortarâ€ return to school until the trend of COVID-19 cases reduces over a 14-day period – per the CDC and other Health Dept. guidelines. Student and employee safety and health have to be paramount at this time and a virtual return to school will enable the District to provide the safe working environment our union contracts stipulate as well as provide students with a learning environment that worked very well during the final quarter last year.