Onslow County teachers put pressure on district to move online

Onslow County school officials say they haven’t discussed a specific scenario where they would move to online learning.
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 7:07 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 9:05 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Onslow County school officials say they’re taking their return to the classroom day-by-day. For now, however, they say the best situation for Onslow County students is to stay the course with in-person learning.

“Tomorrow brings back the second cohort. So, we just have to wait and see,” said Onslow County School Board Chair Pam Thomas. “Hopefully, we’re going to stay on this pattern of low contacts and low cases, and that Onslow County is going to get be back stronger in the education field.”

But the pressure is on for Onslow County to move online. Teachers in the district say they’re already more overwhelmed than they should be.

“I know the district is doing the best they can with what they got,” said Onslow County Association of Educators Vice President Chris Meeks. “But, no matter what they do, it may not be enough. I know of one particular teacher who’s been staying at school until 9, 10, 11 o’clock at night.”

Meeks says the county teachers union chapter would like to see the school board reverse course and return to fully-remote learning.

“If we had a situation, maybe even isolated in one school, we could have that school not be in school,” said Thomas. “Anything is on the table today because we know that tomorrow can change in a heartbeat.”

Gov. Cooper said Wednesday that the decision to stay in-person or to move online is up to individual school districts.

“We certainly want to provide guidance to any school district that is making decisions about what they might want to do,” said Cooper.

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