KILLEEN, Texas – Concerned parents and members of the Killeen Educators Association (KEA) drove by the Killeen ISD Administration Building during a school board meeting Tuesday night and honked their horns to show their frustration over the school’s re-opening plan.
KEA President Rick Beaulé says he and his organization don’t think it’s safe to return to campuses.
“We did a survey of over 200 of our members, 80 percent of which felt they had some concern over whether or not they felt it was safe to return, 60 percent said they did not feel it was safe to return,” Beaulé said. “80 percent of the people felt they had at least moderate stress, and over half of them felt a high level of stress.”
Beaulé is himself a diabetic – putting him the high risk category of contracting COVID-19. With death rates rising and schools set to reopen next month, he says it puts teachers in a tough spot.
“We have a death rate that could triple in the next three weeks, and that’s very worrisome for teachers and for educators and aides – who are stuck between having to earn a paycheck and risk their lives,” Beaulé said. “It’s a very difficult thing to have to deal with.”
In a statement given to FOX44, Killeen ISD said:
“While the district remains open to dialogue and feedback pertaining to the safe return to school, we highly discourage individuals to violate laws, including those outlined in the transportation code. We will continue to provide appropriate avenues for concerns to be expressed.
“A motor vehicle operator shall use a horn to provide audible warning only when necessary to insure (sic) safe operation.” (Tex. Transp. Code 547.501(c))”
Beaulé did admit there is really no precedent to opening schools under these circumstances.
“We’re in a pandemic, so there’s no easy way to deal with this. So what we’re looking for is for every single possible step to be taken to mitigate the risk for contracting COVID-19 for the students, for the educators, for the staff, for the community,” Beaulé said.
Killeen ISD is set to begin on-campus learning September 8.