Substitute teachers concern in returning to school during pandemic

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Since the first day of school was pushed back, a lot of viewers have been asking what the future may look like for substitute teachers. KSN News spoke with a substitute who has concerns safety. She says she’s hesitant in returning to school. The main reason she became a substitute teacher is to help students which is why she wonders if now is the right time to come back.

She says substitute teachers work in multiple school districts which could cause potential danger when they move from school to school. She also says substitutes do not benefit from the school’s health insurance which also raises some red flags.

“My biggest concern is if I were to actually end up having COVID would that be, I mean will it financially wreck me. People are going and have to consider do they have the medical, the health care, they need that will cover if they do end up getting it.”

KSN News reached out to multiple school districts and unions to find out what they’re doing to keep contract workers as safe as possible during this time.

Union leaders say each school district is stepping up their sanitation game. They’re also making sure there is enough PPE gear once schools start back up. They say the most important thing staff members need to keep in mind is health concerns. Meaning, if they see someone not obeying the rules, they must report it immediately. To better protect all staff inside the schools they’re cleaning the bathrooms, handlebars, and frequently touched areas every half hour.

“If you see somebody not wearing their mask, you really need to say something. If you see somebody who doesn’t feel well, it’s okay to ask them how they’re feeling and see if maybe they should go down to the nurse and get their temp checked because one person can expose a classroom of 12,” said Esau Freeman, business representative for Service Employees International Union Local 513.

More information will be released in regards to school delays and safety protocols on July 20.

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