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PHOTOS & VIDEO: Washoe County educators protest reopening plans for public schools

Date:

Story and Video by Bob Conrad | Photos by Trevor Bexon

About 200 teachers and education professionals gathered Aug. 6, 2020 to protest what they are calling unsafe working conditions. The group rallied at the Washoe County Health District building on Wells Avenue, then marched to the Washoe County School District administrative building on 9th Street.

The Washoe Education Association has filed a complaint with the Nevada OSHA office, saying reopening plans violate safety protocols.

The protest and complaint come in the wake of the Washoe School Board of Trustees voting to send teachers and students back into classrooms as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the region.

“Washoe is a large district with huge inequities. How are we dealing with safety precautions in each school?” said teacher Jeni Martinez. “The video [WCSD] released to advertise our reopening is unrealistic. It is set in a brand new school, with a class of four students. What happens when you are short classrooms, desks, technology, supplies, safety equipment, and staff?”

More than 100 people have died of the coronavirus disease to date in Washoe County. District Health Officer Kevin Dick has threatened to shut down schools if students and educational staff get sick.

The school district says it is doing what is required and that teachers want to return to classrooms and parents want students back in school.

In this video are MJ Ubando, Roberto Bejarano and Andrienne Feemster.

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