FCPS teachers share concerns about large event before new school year
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Some Fayette County Public Schools teachers are sharing concerns about an upcoming, large event.
All district employees are required to be at Rupp Arena for a convocation ceremony before the start of school. Some with the Kentucky 120 United AFT union worry COVID will spread through employees before the school year begins.
FCPS teacher and organizer of the group Laura Hartke said masks won’t be required at the indoor event, and she and other employees wish they were. They’re concerned because Fayette County is once again in the red zone, and the CDC recommends masking when cases are at this level.
“People are sad this is where we are still. I think it brings some anxiety. Convocation is the first thing coming to people’s minds right now. I think the start of the year, you know, we’re still just hoping by then numbers drop, but it doesn’t look like that’s what is going to happen,” Hartke said.
Hartke said every district employee is required to be at the event on August 8. School starts on August 10.
“Eighty-five percent of our members said they did not feel safe and at the very least think masks should be mandated,” Hartke said.
Hartke said employees received an email from district officials that said the “Either Way is OK” masking policy will continue on into the upcoming school year. That means you can wear a mask if you want to, but you aren’t required to do so.
Hartke said the policy made sense to her last year as cases were declining, but now she and other employees are worried how the recent surge in COVID cases will affect the start of the school year.
“We have to keep people safe. There’s a sub shortage, there’s a bus drive shortage, there’s food service shortage. There’s custodian shortage. There’s nobody to sub in if we get sick and we don’t want to get sick,” Hartke said.
We did reach out to a school district spokesperson for more information on the upcoming masking policy and for comment on the convocation but have not heard back yet.
Copyright 2022 WKYT. All rights reserved.