DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Public Schools is calling some teachers to return to the classrooms the week of April 26. It’s a decision some are criticizing saying they are forcing teachers into a dangerous situation.
DPS told CBS4 it consulted with health experts about the state of vaccinations and was advised it could continue to expand in-person learning.READ MORE: With Face Masks No Longer Mandated For Those Who Are Vaccinated, Business Owners Navigate Uncertainty
In a statement a spokesperson said, “This allows us to bring more students and teachers back into the classroom, something that our students and families have been eagerly awaiting. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Denver Public Schools has provided accommodations based on an individual’s personal health risks, the risk to a vulnerable individual in the employee’s home or who the employee cares for, and childcare needs caused by COVID-related closures. With access to vaccines available for all adults in Colorado now, and many schools returning to normal operation, DPS is canceling approximately 300 accommodations in schools related to living with a vulnerable individual or childcare issues.”
Students have been instructed to wear face masks, keep as far apart as possible, and encouraged to maintain hand hygiene, but for some teachers it’s just not enough.
“For instance, me, the reason why I didn’t want to go back was because I do live with family that is elderly, so I don’t want to expose my family to that,” Ramos explained.READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: Governor's Office Lifts Face Mask Mandate For Those Who Are Vaccinated
Adam Ramos is a substitute teacher for DPS. He has taken this year off.
“I just wasn’t really sure about the steps that DPS had taken to ensure there would be proper safety in the classroom with proper distancing, proper sanitation, proper aeration of the school. Making sure the air is clean of a lot of pathogens, and this is a job you know where you’re sitting in a classroom with 30 individuals,” he said.
He wants to wait until everyone gets vaccinated to possibly return, though no matter what, going back will be a tough decision.
“Actually, had a friend with all this happening she was overwhelmed, I understand from the family’s and the teacher’s point of view,” he said.MORE NEWS: COVID In Colorado: Excitement Builds As Children Ages 12-15 Begin To Get Pfizer Vaccine
However, with the governor’s order in effect, 700 people who are at high risk for COVID would still be able to work remotely.