UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Many Union County teachers continue to push for an all-virtual start of the school year. Many, but not all.
There’s another group of teachers who say, unlike some of their colleagues, they’re ready to be back in the classroom and say they are accepting any risk there could be regarding the spread of COVID-19.
“I’ve got it roped off for social distancing, I have my mask, I’m ready to rock and roll. Let’s go,” said Micheal Hicks, who teaches high school students in Union County.
He’s counting down the day until the first day of school.
“Being in the classroom with my kids and seeing their reaction and their faces,” he said. “That idea bulb that goes off, you see that in the classroom, it’s hard to see that online.”
Not all teachers in Union County are as excited. Many in fact are demanding a switch to Plan C.
WBTV News has talked to plenty of them, including two of the leaders who spoke at last week’s Board of Education meeting.
“There are teachers in my community who are afraid to come back. You are playing Russian roulette with the lives of this community,” said Sophia Stephenson, who leads the group EduAdvocates.
“COVID is a bullet we can see coming, it’s already here,” said another concerned UCPS employee, Brittany Gendron.
But Michael Hicks, and others, don’t feel that way.
“I respect the teachers who have reservations about coming back in the classroom, I get it. We’re dealing with the unknown,” he said. “I want to teach the ones who want to be here, I want to teach the ones who want to stay remote but I want to be here for them.”
He says he didn’t come to this opinion without thinking it through. He says he’s nervous as well but overall ready to be back in the classroom.
“I’m excited. I’m a little nervous. I’m a little scared,” he said. “If something happens, I’ll have to deal with it. I just feel better being back in the classroom. I accept the risks that come with it.”
The first day of school for Union County is on Monday.
They’re one of several school districts in the Charlotte area which are planning to go back to school under the Plan B model which is a mix of in person and remote learning.