NHC Parents, Teachers Express Concerns Over School Reopening

Oct 6, 2020

  New Hanover County Schools are opening for in-person classes on Monday. But as WHQR reports, parents and teachers still have questions.

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, parents were asking: 

“Is there enough staff to support teachers on Plan B? I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it’s going to be to teach while keeping children safe.” 

“Will children be disciplined if they decide not to wear a mask?” 

And teachers wanted administrators to know they have their own concerns and demands. Amanda White is the local chapter president of the North Carolina Association of Educators: 

“The district must commit to staying in Plan B until at least December 18th. Every teacher that returns to school with students needs to be provided with N95 masks.”

White claims about 50% of those who have requested to teach remotely have been denied. And she adds teachers’ needs must be accommodated.  

And Carla Turner, the County’s Assistant Health Director, who  presented at the meeting, said coronavirus infections are increasing:

“I will tell you, on our state department health call that we have every Tuesday, it was shared, in North Carolina, we did have an uptick in positive cases.” 

But when board member Nelson Beaulieu asked Turner and County Health Director Phillip Tarte if there was any reason they shouldn’t reopen on Monday, they both replied, “No.”

Later in the meeting, Board member David Wortman expressed his preference to return to all in-person instruction: 

“I would strongly encourage administration to talk to Brunswick County and see what they’re doing in an effort to move us forward to Plan A, and again Plan A is a choice.”      

And with in-class instruction starting in less than a week, New Hanover County Schools still have three open positions for nurses.