UEA responds to governor’s emergency announcement

Utah Education Association President Heidi Matthews issued the following statement:

“We express appreciation to Gov. Gary Herbert for his call to strengthen measures addressing the rapid spread of COVID-19 in our community. Unfortunately, the governor’s emergency announcement did not go nearly far enough in tackling the serious issues facing students and educators in our public schools.


“As indicated in the UEA statement issued last Friday, Nov. 6, we call on the governor and local school boards to require all public secondary schools in communities of high COVID transmission to adopt at-home instruction. We also call on the governor and school boards to work with elementary schools to find workable solutions to support the health and safety of educators.

“There is a distinct contradiction in calling for limits to social gatherings while our public schools continue with class sizes among the largest in the country.

“Our public school educators simply cannot continue to be ignored in their concerns about social distancing, testing, proper quarantine measures and workload. We have watched as multiple schools shift back and forth from in-person to at-home learning due to outbreaks and quarantines. This cycle is obviously not helping to control the virus spread and, as educators, we can unequivocally state the continual interruptions are not in the best interest of student learning. We believe that continuing in-person learning amid record numbers of COVID-19 infection rates poses an unacceptable level of risk for our students, our educators and our communities.”