Educators Rally (Virtually) for Safe In-Person Instruction in Schools

For Immediate Release
February 13, 2021

ATLANTA -- “GAE held this member rally to highlight the efforts of our members in communicating the desire to return to in-person instruction, but only when it is safe to do so,” said Lisa Morgan, president of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE).

Morgan is referencing the virtual Safe Schools Rally her organization held today with over 500 members throughout the state.  The rally featured members and school leaders who spoke about their respective efforts on how and when to open schools safely for all concerned, children, educators and education support professionals.

GAE also announced it had sent a letter to all local superintendents on its members’ willingness to return to in-person instruction but only when it is safe to do so as determined by CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines.

"GAE is pleased to see that the CDC has now clearly and succinctly laid out what is essential to safely reopen our public school buildings for in-person learning," said Morgan. "No one wants to return to our classrooms and school buildings more than our Georgia educators and education support professionals.  We have dedicated our lives to helping our students’ and schools’ success.  CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, echoed what educators have been saying for over 10 months: When the proper mitigation precautions are taken — masking, social distancing, proper ventilation, contact tracing, hand washing — the data and the science suggests a return to in-person learning may be possible.

Educators have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve their students these past 11 months. GAE has been very clear in calling for the resources and funding needed to support a safe return to in-person instruction.  Together, with parents, students, public health experts, and elected leaders, we can reopen Georgia’s school buildings safely and equitably, but we must follow and enforce the guidance from public health authorities by implementing distancing, retrofitting ventilation systems, providing students and educators PPE, and prioritizing vaccines for educators for mitigation to be effective, otherwise, it is just words on a page.”