The following statement is attributable to Triad Education Association (TEA) President Andrew Frey:
“Triad Education Association is committed to delivering the best possible education to the students of the Triad School District in the safest environment for the students and staff possible. Ninety percent of teachers in the Triad School district are vaccinated, and the majority of those who are not are willingly complying with the testing mandates set forth by the state.
Triad Education Association is committed to working with the district and teachers who choose not to get the vaccine by getting testing into every school building.
Triad has been able to be in person nearly every day since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. This is in large part due to the mitigation efforts put in place by the district and enforced by the administrators and teachers. Masking has been one of the most effective strategies used to this point.
Teachers do not like to wear masks any more than the next person, but we know they work. Many of our teachers do not feel comfortable with students coming to school without masks, including 67 percent of our elementary teachers. Elementary teachers are in the unique position of being able to be vaccinated if they choose but teach students who cannot be vaccinated. These teachers, if the mask mandate is lifted, will be forced to teach in front of 20-25 unmasked, unvaccinated students. This puts our teachers at a much higher risk to contract COVID-19, and take it home to their own children, parents, or grandparents. Some of our teachers and their families have health concerns that, if they contract COVID-19, could cost them, or their loved ones, their lives.
Teachers do not want to have to teach remotely because we know that being in a classroom is what is best for kids. However, we also know from the data from other districts that have not had a mask mandate in place, that outbreaks are likely and remote learning would be inevitable.
There have also been social media posts insinuating that the teachers are filing suit against the district because of the possibility of students not being masked. Triad Education Association has not filed any lawsuits, nor has it been made aware of any lawsuits filed by any of its members. KMOV news reported that Triad teachers were filing suit against the district because of the state’s mandate for vaccination and testing. Again, we have not been made aware of these lawsuits, so we cannot make any further comments on them.”