A couple weeks ago we learned that EPISD was thinking about going back to face-to-face schooling. CLICK HERE for an article from back then.

In case you didn't know this, EPISD has forced teachers back to school. I'm using the word "forced" because of how an email to EPISD teachers was worded. There's a Facebook group called "Teachers and Students Safe at Home". CLICK HERE to check out the group, where they shared an email from EPISD that said:

This email serves as a follow-up to the status of your request for an accommodation. You previously submitted a request to telework as an accommodation, to enable you to perform the essential functions of your position.
District employees were approved to telework beginning March 2020, based on the EPISD@Home virtual instruction program established by the District.
Under the current Region 19 School Safe Zones (Orange Zone), the city of El Paso Department of Health released its recommendation for the return to campus. Schools will open on January 19th for students who qualify to return under the orange zone and employees will return on January 14th.
Given the change in District and campus operations, in order to meet the essential job functions of your position, you are required to report to your primary work location on January 14, 2021.Your supervisor will work with you to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place.
All safety measures and protocols will be strictly enforced as the District remains committed to prioritizing the safety of all students and employees.
We would be glad to discuss any other reasonable accommodations that you feel would assist you in performing your essential job functions.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Yvette Gonzalez
Compliance Analyst, Employee Relations
Human Resources
So what about our teachers? How do they feel about this? I have spoken to multiple teachers throughout EPISD and they aren't happy about this. Especially since some staff that were given exemptions because of underlying conditions are being told too bad, you still have to show up. I asked a teacher if they were comfortable going back to school for face-to-face instruction. Their response:
Nope, but I got to pay bills and keep my family feed.
I asked the same teacher how their peers feel about being forced to go back:
From the teachers that I talk to we're scared even though we might only have a few students in the classroom maximum 16 that still exposure and if we catch it our families catch it too if you talk to epta we really want that vaccine to protect ourselves and our families. We wonder why we have to go back unprotected.
Some of the teachers that had their exemptions revoked in regards to face-to-face learning have some pretty serious underlying conditions. Does EPISD care? It doesn't seem so.
Just in case you were wondering, studies are showing positive cases among teachers and staff that are back in school are going up. CLICK HERE for that article.

READ MORE: 50 resources to help you educate your kids at home

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