By Gumptown Magazine Staff
Montgomery, Alabama– The Alabama Education Association (AEA) applauds the actions of Dr. Ann Roy Moore and the Montgomery Public Schools (MPS) Board of Education to move to remote teaching and learning until its employees are vaccinated. This action, led by AEA UniServ Directors Lynn Pettway and Shun Ross under the direction of AEA Southern Regional Manager Labarron Mack, puts the health and safety of the students, faculty, and staff where it should be – at the forefront.
While remote teaching and learning is by no means ideal, the recent deaths of MPS employees made it clear that the current situation with in-person instruction was not sustainable. By moving to a remote environment, instruction can continue with the least risk.
AEA President Sherry Tucker said, “While time out of the classroom is difficult, learning losses can be made up. Lives cannot be brought back when they are lost. With vaccines on the way, this is a reasonable, prudent step. My hope is that other superintendents will carefully examine the risks of continuing in-person instruction right now versus the benefit of waiting for their employees to be fully protected.”
AEA Associate Executive Director Theron Stokes added, “Our teachers and education support professionals want to be at school. They want children to learn in their classrooms. However, when you have the number of deaths that have occurred within MPS in recent weeks, this was an absolutely necessary step. I urge state officials to move educators up in priority for vaccine distribution. The sooner educators are vaccinated, the sooner our schools can safely reopen and stay open.”
AEA continues to monitor COVID-19 in every school system daily. When deadly outbreaks hit a system, like what has happened in Montgomery, we will take the lead in pushing for more effective measures, up to and including a move to all remote instruction. Any AEA member who has concerns about how COVID-19 is being handled in their school system should contact their local AEA UniServ Director. If we find any system not following federal and state guidance, or where such measures are not working, we will not hesitate to take action.
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