Gov. Cooper wants in-person learning in schools; teachers group opposes

Governor Roy Cooper is strongly urging all North Carolina schools to provide in-person learning for students.
Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 2:20 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2021 at 2:39 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - Governor Roy Cooper is strongly urging all North Carolina schools to provide in-person learning for students.

The Governor during a press conference said that ongoing research has shown that in-person learning is working and that students can be in the classroom safely with the right safety protocols in place.

Gov. Cooper said that 90 of the state’s 115 school districts are already providing some or all in-person instruction to students.

Gov. Cooper says the option for remote learning should still be available to students.

“Even with the thousands of students and teachers attending school in-person across the state, we have seen few COVID-19 clusters in our public schools,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., in a press release, “Our Department will continue to serve our school communities, offering resources and support so we can keep our school doors open.”

As Gov. Cooper was speaking this afternoon, the North Carolina Association of Educators put out a press release challenging the safety of such a move.

“We, as NCAE, have said since the start of this pandemic that educators are eager to return to in-person instruction when it can be done safely. However, without the widespread vaccination of educators and strictly enforced social distancing, it is impossible for many schools to open safely, and for the schools that have been open, they need help,” the association said.

“If Governor Cooper feels so strongly about resuming in-person instruction quickly, then he should support educators and immediately bring the full weight of his office to bear to get all educators vaccinated by the end of this month, just as 25 other states have been able to do.”

Parents are also on the fence.

Winnie Washington’s kids go to DH Conley High School. She says she was against in-person learning at first because her kids are Type 1 diabetic.

“We were told that could hinder them, if they were to catch COVID, make it worse for them,” she explained.

Washington said she might be more on board now because of how difficult virtual learning has been for her kids. “It was taking a toll on them,” Washington said.

Though the state encourages in-person classes, the decision is ultimately up to the local school boards.

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