Local News

Wake County teacher resigns after she says COVID-19 requests not met

Posted October 15, 2020 4:00 a.m. EDT
Updated October 15, 2020 10:14 a.m. EDT

— Wake County elementary school students, teachers and staff members will soon be back in the classroom. One teacher said she will be leaving the district after a special request for accommodations she made due to COVID-19 concerns was denied.

District officials have now fielded nearly 4,000 requests from teachers before they return because of COVID-19 concerns. Wake County Public School System officials said teachers must reach certain criteria to get those accommodations.

The former Wake County elementary teacher asked to remain anonymous, fearing speaking publicly could hinder her job search.

"I don’t want to do anything to mess with that," said the teacher, who has been working for four years. "I loved the school I was at, it was a great school."

The teacher said she's looking for a new job because she feels uncomfortable with Wake County Public School System’s plan to return students back to the classroom later this month.

"It’s hard to enforce masks with young children, and they haven’t seen each other for a long time, so they’re going to be very excited, and I think it’s going to come with a lot of pressure on teachers, and I think it’s going to be hard to control," the teacher said.

She asked to continue to teach from home but was denied. Wake County School leaders have received roughly 3,850 requests for accommodations, which can be anything from alternate work locations to additional protective equipment.

"I did not qualify for one because I am not high risk, and I do not live with anyone high risk," the teacher said.

The teacher said she wanted to stay at home out of an abundance of caution and because she has relatives who are high-risk, and she wants to spend time with them.

WRAL News did ask officials with the school district how many requests they’ve denied and approved but were unable to get those numbers Wednesday night. They said they will give an update when they can and that they’re working hard to provide the necessary accommodations.

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