Union County teachers protest reopening plans ahead of first day of school

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Union County teachers will be back in schools with students Monday, but they are worried about COVID-19 in their classrooms.

They are upset because they said no one is listening to their concerns so they made their voices heard at an unusual protest to show how serious they feel the issue is.

The teachers are frustrated they weren’t give a choice and are required to show up for work in-person Monday.

They have held a series of drive-by protests to get their message across. Their latest protest on Sunday featured a hearse and another car had a fake casket and tombstones on it.

Teachers believe their lives and students’ safety could be at risk, especially after the district already had three clusters tied to an in-person graduation ceremony, staff working together and a football practice.

Teachers said the district hasn’t listened to any of their concerns.

“We’ve sent emails, we’ve left voice messages that have gone unanswered due to the district still having their voice message that says our employees are remote to prevent the spread of COVID,” teacher Brittany Gendron said.

The board said this month a survey showed teachers are comfortable with being in classrooms. But, Channel 9 got a copy of the survey and it did not ask about their comfort level.

Some of the teachers in Union County are still hoping to convince the board to go all remote, but so far, that is not the plan.

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