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Martin County parents worried about safety of teachers in classrooms exposed to coronavirus

'I would probably give them a D,' parent says when asked to grade school district after first week
Posted at 10:34 PM, Aug 14, 2020

STUART, Fla. — Parents in Martin County are worried about the health and safety of teachers in exposed classrooms after students have had to be sent home for showing coronavirus symptoms.

"I'm concerned with just the overall safety of the children and staff," said one parent of a quarantined student not wishing to be identified. "Kids (who) have been exposed must quarantine for 14 days, but yet the teachers are made to come back to campus and teach from the classroom."

The parent said exposed teachers should be staying home.

According to the Martin County School District, all teachers are essential and are only required to stay home if they show symptoms or test positive for coronavirus.

RELATED: Martin County School District COVID-19 policy allows teachers who have had contact with positive person to report to schools

"We expected that this would happen," Superintendent Laurie Gaylord said. "I mean, we know that this is going to happen."

Gaylord said teachers have to report to school because there are staffing requirements that have been put into place by the Florida Department of Education and that every employee is given a temperature check each day when they arrive at campus.

The parent said the policy does not protect students and staff from asymptotic carriers.

"I understand there's no kids in their classroom, but they must make it from the parking lot to their classroom, touching multiple doors and entrances, exits, the other students and staff have to come through," the parent said.

When asked to grade the school district through the first week of school, he said, so far, it's been unacceptable.

"I would probably give them a D," the parent said. "I wouldn't fail them because there's multiple schools in the county. We're looking at one week, two schools, looking at a roughly, what is it, 30-something-odd kids?"

School district officials said their health and safety protocols allow for individual schools to use its discretion on enforcing masks when social distancing can be maintained and during recess or activities that require eating and drinking.