MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — SC for Ed, an education advocacy group, is calling for school districts to return to complete virtual learning after a South Carolina teacher died from COVID-19.
The group took to Twitter posting “virtual until safe” pictures just days after third grade teacher Staci Blakely died from the coronavirus.
Blakely was considered a wonder woman to family, students and staff at Carolina Springs Elementary School in Lexington.
“She loved wonder woman, but she was our wonder woman. She’s just a wonderful lady, wonderful lady,” Brian Rhodes said.
Rhodes’ daughter was a former student of the 50-year-old teacher who taught in the Lexington School District for 21 years. Teachers now want to see change before it’s too late for others.
“Anyone that’s trying to push forward at this time — that’s just irresponsible,” Dottie Adams told News13.
Adams is a middle school teacher from Richland County. With current COVID-19 conditions, Adams believes in-person learning isn’t safe for all districts.
“If you have masks, if you have plexiglass, if you’re able to maintain that social distancing, things can work safely, but that is not happening across the board,” Adams explained.
When asked if the current instruction model was best-fit considering the rise in cases, Horry County School District said county Board of Education voted for hybrid learning in October and will continue with the hybrid learning model until further notice.
But many teachers say it’s not worth the risk.
“We have to think of our families. We have to think of our neighbors, and our neighbors neighbors family and really do our part,” Adams said.
“Until everybody gets in that mentality things are not going to get better,” she explained.
Horry County School District will not participate in the rapid COVID testing program. Adams said this is a step in the right direction because rapid testing may give a false sense of security.
The group also released an anonymous survey for current state educational staff members asking if staff would be willing to not attend work for one or more days to protest current district policies.