Boston Public Schools
boston covid classroom

Boston reopens some schools as teachers union passes no-confidence vote in superintendent

Dec. 14, 2020
Teachers find fault with Superintendent Brenda Cassellius and the safety measures put into place in the reopened campuses.

Twenty-eight Boston public schools re-opened Monday, and about 1,700 high-needs students are able return to their classrooms.

CBS News Boston reports that the reopenings occurred hours after the Boston Teachers Union passed a vote of no confidence in Boston Superintendent Brenda Cassellius over safeguarding teachers and students from exposure to the Covid-19 virus.

Eliot Elementary School was one of the schools that re-opened. Teachers were there to greet students Monday morning, but they say more needs to be done to guarantee their safety.

“All of our educators showed up for our students because that’s never been the issue for us. The issue has always been about safety, equity and transparency,” union president Jessica Tang says.

In its no-confidence vote, the union said the superintendent refused “to formally extend equal and uniform safety provisions” from the four schools that have been open to the 28 that reopened Monday. 

"If it’s good enough for the other schools, students and families, why would it not be good enough for all the rest?” Tang says.

The district shared a photo of what classrooms will look like. Desks are spaced apart for physical distancing, and an air purifier has been placed in the back of the room.

Other additional safety measures include providing medical grade personal protective equipment for staff, testing air quality and ventilation in school buildings, and inviting staff to participate in free testing at or near their school.

The teachers union says testing isn’t as accessible as it should be and at-home testing kits are being offered at some schools and not others.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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