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Huntsville City Schools teachers want more say in district decisions

Some Huntsville City Schools teachers say the district isn't taking their opinions into account when making decisions about how to keep students and faculty safe from Coronavirus this school year.

Posted: Sep 17, 2020 10:36 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2021 3:50 PM

Some Huntsville City Schools teachers say the district isn't taking their opinions into account when making decisions about how to keep students and faculty safe from Coronavirus this school year.

Educators who are a part of the Alabama Education Association gathered at Thursday night's board of education meeting to make their voices heard.

About 15 teachers said hey don't feel represented by the board of education, especially when it comes to Coronavirus precautions, but the district says it's in the process of creating a Teacher Advisory Council to change that.

"There's a lot of decisions being made about the classroom and it affects a lot of teachers in different ways and it would be nice if we were consulted more often," said teacher, Susan Mitchell.

Elementary school teacher, Susan Mitchell, says teachers didn't have much input when Huntsville City School officials made decisions to start having students in classrooms this week.

"We are the ones in the field and we just want to be heard," said Mitchell.

Teachers who are part of the Alabama Education Association sat in on the Huntsville City Schools Board of Education meeting Thursday night, dressed in red, to deliver one message.

"Our expertise in this field is warranted and needed," said Mitchell.

High school teacher Rebecca Abercrombie says she wants to be updated on school changes sooner.

"Sometimes we hear it just before the parents do, we don't feel like we can really help prepare the kids," said Abercrombie.

WAAY 31's Casey Albritton asked to speak to school board members about the teachers' concerns, but Huntsville City Schools spokesperson, Craig Williams, said no one wanted to talk. He did say, however, the district understands the concerns and is now creating a Teachers Advisory Council.

"To interact with administrators and share their thoughts and feedback and from what it's like in the classrooms," said Williams.

The district is also creating a survey for teachers.

"To assess their feedback on how their experience has been with students returning to school buildings," said Williams.

Mitchell says she hopes she sees some changes made.

"We are just as concerned and scared as anyone in any field would be and we would like a little bit of control over the situation," said Mitchell.

Craig Williams tells WAAY 31 the teachers advisory board and the survey will be created within the next few weeks.

While the Alabama Education Association sat in on the board of education meeting Thursday night, board members agreed to purchase a new sanitizing spray to clean buses. The product, called Green D Pro will be used every day on buses once students unload.

"It's just another risk mitigation effort to make sure we are doing everything we can to promote safety," said Williams.

The district is spending almost $3,000 on the chemical per school.

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