Beth Kontos, President of the AFT Massachusetts, released the following statement today in response to the unprecedented rise of COVID cases across the Commonwealth, including alarming rates of pediatric positivity rates and hospitalizations.
Massachusetts public school students and their families have struggled with the uncertainty and anxiety of the COVID pandemic for two years. They have the right to know that after the holiday break they are returning to safe schools. Given the ever-increasing infection rate and the virulent behavior of the current COVID strain, we know they will not.
“The tests provided by the state allow for testing of all teachers and staff, and that should proceed. It should then be followed by a period of remote learning until the current wave of infections abates.
“This is not the time for finger pointing. It is time for Governor Baker and Commissioner Riley to accept the fact that we are in the midst of a runaway public health crisis that is beyond our control. They must acknowledge that returning students to school on Monday will inevitably make the crisis much worse.”