NEWARK, Del. (AP) — Teachers in Delaware held a drive-in demonstration to urge their school district to return to virtual learning as coronavirus cases continue to climb in the state.
The nearly 50 cars gathered at the parking lot of Newark’s Gauger-Cobbs Middle School on Tuesday night honked their horns and displayed posters that read “show us the data” and “science over politics" as school board members switched to a virtual meeting to avoid the disruption, the Delaware News Journal reported.
The middle school is part of Christina School District, which has seen 17 students and 42 staff test positive for COVID-19 since the start of the academic year, according to the state’s Division of Public Health. The district had switched to remote learning prior to Thanksgiving, but resumed in-person classes this week for some of its students.
Gov. John Carney has said epidemiologists have not seen a COVID-19 spread in schools, but with the rise in community spread, teachers are nervous. They honked their horns in support as speakers advocating for virtual classes rose up to speak.
“We keep hearing ‘in person learning is best.’ But, with infection rates increasing we have seen how the rate of teachers needing to quarantine and the lack of substitutes is affecting in-person learning,” Stephanie Ingram, the president of the state teachers union, said in a statement. “We do not believe that environment better serves our students than a consistent remote instruction would.”
Carney last week urged Delaware public school officials to resume hybrid instruction mixing both remote and in-person learning after recommending in December that classroom instruction be put on hold because of the virus.