SC teachers and parents talk about state’s vaccine roll out and the impact on the education system

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – There are many who are beginning to voice their opinions on the need for teachers to get vaccinated before resuming five day, face-to-face instruction.

A group of parents were petitioning outside of North Charleston High School as Governor McMaster made a visit to the Lowcountry.

They said that it’s important to not overlook educators as the state continues its vaccine rollout because teachers have been critical during this pandemic.

“They have been propping up this economy for months. They are scared,. They are tired. They are overwhelmed. They feel undervalued. They feel under-appreciated,” said Jillian Hollingsworth, a concerned parent.

South Carolina is currently in Phase 1A of the state’s vaccine plan, but they did make one change to the phase that has caught the attention of Rachel Gamble, a Berkeley County teacher.

“The Governor was suggesting to move [up] people aged 65 to 70 who were in Phase 1C and teachers are in 1B so we would like the plan to go forward as originally stated,” said Gamble.

State Senator Shane Massey introduced a joint resolution on Wednesday that would allow teachers to jump from Phase 1B to Phase1A.

Governor McMaster sent out a tweet on Sunday saying allowing teachers to jump the line would be “unethicaL, immoral, and absolutely unacceptable.”

Gov. McMaster and Superintendent Molly Spearman said it was time to return to five day, face-to-face instruction because there’s now proof that the virus is not easily spread in schools.

However, to Jillian Hollingsworth, it’s not just about calming down fears but it could help with teachers’ mental health following a difficult year.

“It might be a prerequisite to keeping these professionals in the profession they love. They are burnt out… They can’t keep going on like this,” said Hollingsworth.

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