More than half of SCS teachers say they don’t feel comfortable returning to classrooms in January

WATCH: More than half of SCS teachers say they don’t feel comfortable returning to classrooms in January

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — More than half of the teachers in Shelby County Schools say they don’t feel comfortable returning to classrooms in January.

That’s a concern for the education associations that represents more than half of the teachers in Shelby County.

“Why would you expect these teachers to put themselves in harm’s way when we know that the virus is present in at least 50 sites?” Keith Williams asked.

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Will teachers in Shelby County Schools be in classrooms when students possibly return to in-person learning in January?

That’s the concern of many parents and education leaders, especially after learning of the more than one hundred COVID-19 cases among SCS staff members over the last several months.

Leaders from the Memphis Shelby County Education Association and the United Education Association of Shelby County told Chalkbeat many teachers who once worked in the school building since the beginning of the school year are now working remotely away from school buildings.

Keith Williams from the Memphis Shelby County Education Association voiced his concern.

“They did do a survey and by and large 80 percent chose not to return. They are going to the building now because there are no children there. This survey was January the 6th,” Williams said.

“Teachers are not willing to risk their lives coming back into buildings knowing that a virus is present,” Williams said.

According to both unions, the problem of students returning to buildings in January will be staffing if a massive amount of teachers decide to work remotely.

Both education associations represent more than half of SCS teachers and currently, there is a survey underway that will explain where most teachers stand with a return to school buildings in January.