Teachers feel anxious ahead of more CMS students return to in-person learning Monday

Teachers feel anxious ahead of more CMS students return to in-person learning Monday

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As more Charlotte-Mecklenburg students are set to return to the classroom Monday, many teachers are feeling anxious.

“I woke up first thing this morning with a major knot in my stomach, the first thing I thought was ‘Oh, my God it’s here. I have to go back tomorrow,’” said teacher Lori Carter.

On Monday, middle school students in K-8 schools will return for in-person learning on a rotating schedule. That means up to two days in-person during the week.

It’s a nervous feeling for teachers.

“My window will be open, I will be socially-distanced. I will have the mask and face guard,” said teacher Jen Bourne.

CMS Solidarity is a Facebook group created by educators across Charlotte. They are also against the return to in-person learning.

“We believe teachers need to take action to keep themselves, their families, and the community safe by quarantining as the CDC recommends or by calling in sick starting November 30th,” the group said in a statement.

Teachers say it’s irresponsible to bring anyone back after a holiday weekend with rising COVID-19 numbers.

“We have people who traveled over Thanksgiving, we have another two-week break coming up...Jan. 5, I think that is unbelievable,” said Bourne.

“That many more people in our Charlotte community...that many more people are going to be exposed,” added Carter.

They are also calling on teachers to have a voice in the decision-making process and to look at nearby districts for potential solutions to learning during the pandemic.

CMS maintains they are keeping schools safe. Social distancing is being enforced and following CDC guidelines. Daily temperature and virtual health screenings is also happening.

“The answer is to be remote. I have three CMS children currently and they are all home. I am keeping them remote. I will decide when they go back because this circus we’ve been watching in our community is not working for my family,” Bourne said.

Traditional middle school and high school students won’t return to in-person learning until Jan. 5.

A “CMS: Safer Schools Now” petition has also been created, calling on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education to implement more steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the classroom.

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