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Martin County School District doubles down on their start date

'We are following the letter of the law and the orders that have been given to us,' district says
Posted at 10:07 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 23:39:10-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla.  — Tuesday night's meeting in Martin County between teachers and the district was tense. The negotiations were just one week before the start of school.

"This is the concern of our teachers, it's not safe and we're not able to ensure safety at this point, it's just not doable," one teacher said.

The district said they're taking action with on-campus classes set to restart.

"We are following the letter of the law and the orders that have been given to us and we're taking every precaution that's within our control," a district representative said.

The district is moving forward with an August 11, first day one approved by the state. The intention is to have teachers and some students in class while others opt for remote learning.

RELATED: Florida Department of Education approves school reopening plans for Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties

It's the same issue that brought families out just last Friday, marching "for a safe start."

"We're just trying to appeal to their better senses and their humanity to allow the caseload to go down before we start," teacher Kimberly Davis said.

Davis is one of the organizers. A teacher who said a number of her colleagues are looking at purchasing plexiglass to use as a barrier inside classrooms.

"I would say that's the only safe way to go," she said.

Davis is also calling for more cleaning supplies. The district's reopening plan calls for protocols to be in place if schools experience a spread of COVID-19.

Matt Theobald is a teacher who was part of Tuesday's negotiation. He is hoping for progress.

"The next step is that we head back to the table next Thursday," he said.