Judge forces teachers at Trenton Public School to return to classrooms
TRENTON – In-person classroom instruction will return to public schools in the state capital on Monday after a Superior Court judge ordered teachers to return to work.
The school district announced that students will be back in classrooms for the first time since March 18, 2020, after spending millions to improve schools, including purchasing 1,500 air purifiers for each room, as well as plexiglass shields, signs and stickers to remind students of social distancing. and hand washing.
All New Jersey schools were closed by executive order last year, but Gov. Phil Murphy has since said districts should reopen the buildings. Schools were given the flexibility to make their own decisions about reopening with an in-person, remote or hybrid schedule. Distance learning was to be offered to parents who did not want their children to return to classrooms.
The district said in a lawsuit that when a return to classrooms on a hybrid schedule was brought up, the teachers’ union stopped talking. A leaflet was then sent by the teachers’ union to members of the community, raising concerns about the limits of such blended learning.
The trial was sparked when many teachers failed to show up to the school on April 22 to prepare for their return.
Judge Robert Lougy said the Trenton Education Association’s instructions for its members not to show up to class were essentially a strike, which is illegal in New Jersey, according to the coverage. by the Trentonian of the decision.
Lougy agreed that the neighborhood had taken enough steps to secure the buildings.
Murphy, during his coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, said only 25 schools or districts in the state remained on a totally distant schedule. The governor said he expects all schools to resume classroom instruction in September.
“By my calculations today, we have passed the 85% goal of making our children hybrid or in person. We are at 85.96% by my calculations today. We expect that number to continue – will continue to increase, ”Murphy said.
A message for the Trenton Education Association on Friday morning was not immediately returned.
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