Broward Teachers Union president concerned about COVID as in-person learning resumes Monday

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Public school teachers in Broward County are scheduled to return to the classroom on Monday, but not all of them are happy about resuming in-person learning.

Anna Fusco, the president of the Broward Teachers Union, said they’re fed up and furious at Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.

“He pulled the rug out from under us,” she said. “I’m hurt, because I thought we had a great relationship with our superintendent.”

At issue is Runcie’s announcement during a news conference this past week.

“Our schools have granted over 600 remote work assignments based on operational needs,” he said.

Beginning Monday, the district is only allowing about 600 teachers to remain at home, while the rest are required to report to classrooms.

Fusco said 600 is not enough because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The death toll is rising, the positivity rate is rising,” she said.

But Runcie said the district’s hands are tied due to the pandemic taking a toll on too many students. He also said they have determined the schools in the district are not sources for secondary transmission of the virus.

“We can no longer continue to warehouse our students in cafeterias, gymnasiums and media centers while teachers are at home,” he said.

Runcie also said he is pushing for teachers to get priority during this vaccine rollout.

The teachers union has since filed a lawsuit asking a judge to revoke that order as part of an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

“They can get gravely sick, or the worst case scenario, die, and the no-care attitude is quite shocking,” said Fusco.

District officials said they’re taking all the precautions necessary to ensure classrooms are safe for teachers and students.

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