CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Palmetto State Teachers Association (PSTA) on Wednesday released a statement opposing Governor Henry McMaster’s directive that all public schools make available the option of in-person classes five days a week for the upcoming school year.
PSTA believes that the “action would needlessly jeopardize the health and safety of our state’s 800,000 students and more than 50,000 teachers,” going on to say that “if health conditions do not improve, it would be irresponsible and dangerous to require a return to full in-person instruction.”
While the organization praised the suggestion to push back the scheduled start date, they noted that the current trajectory of the virus is alarming:
“The continued high rate of spread of the coronavirus poses a significant, and potentially deadly, health risk for students and staff… the current rate of spread of COVID-19 in our state makes a return to full in-person instruction far more dangerous than it was when the Governor ordered schools to close in March.”
PSTA suggests that state schools adhere to the recommendations of Governor McMaster’s AccelerateED Task Force. Under those recommendations, schools in counties with “high” spread would continue distance learning. Currently, no counties within the state meet the criteria to hold in-person classes.