Buffalo teachers reject district reopening plans, calling them unsafe

Posted at 3:30 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 23:21:22-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Teachers in the Buffalo Public School District have overwhelmingly rejected the district's reopening plans, calling them unsafe. According to details released Monday afternoon, the Buffalo Teachers Federation is now pursuing legal action against district plans that require teachers to report to school/sites during 100% remote instruction.

"The District has not met the required State and Federal guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, parents, teachers and community, said Phil Rumore, BTF President in a statement issued on Monday. "We can not allow teachers to report to their schools/sites two to three times a week, thereby endangering their, their family's and the community's health. We can not allow unsafe teaching and learning conditions to endanger the safety and health of our students, parents, teachers and community; therefore, we will immediately pursue legal action."

The District issued the following statement Monday thru its General Counsel.

"The District is disappointed but not surprised by the Buffalo Teachers Federation tactics (BTF). It has been clear from the beginning that the BTF was not going to be a solution oriented collaborative partner with the District.

Similar to the successful reopening of Central Office, the District’s School Reopening plan follows all required health and safety measures as designated by the Center for Disease Control, the Erie County Health Department, and our Health Advisory Committee of experts.

Without students in the building, the district is confident that teachers will be safe instructing students from their classrooms, and students will receive the vital and meaningful instruction that teachers are responsible for."

At this point it is unclear how this legal action could impact the start of the academic year which begins for students on Tuesday, September 8.