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Nearly 150 Chandler Unified teachers stage 'sick out' Friday, demanding virtual learning

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Posted at 9:53 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 17:33:51-05

CHANDLER, AZ — Nearly 150 teachers with the Chandler Unified School District staged a one-day “sick out” on Friday, demanding the district return to virtual learning after winter break.

ABC15 has been told that dozens of teachers have sent a letter to the district about promises they say have been broken.

“When we returned to in-person learning, teachers and parents did so with the understanding that if any ONE metric went into the red, we would return to virtual learning. We were also assured that we would not be expected to teach virtually and in-person at the same time. Both of those promises have now been broken,” the letter reads.

The teachers who took part in the letter say they are asking to return to virtual learning in January and stay remote until it is safe to return to in-person instruction, based on the original metrics put out.

The teachers' second request is to bring them to the table for discussions that impact the classrooms.

“We are also asking that multiple site representatives, teachers and classroom staff, from each school be involved in the decision-making process regarding reopening and in-person/virtual instruction.”

The letter is signed with a request for a response by the district by Dec.18.

ABC15 reached out to the school district about the “sick out” and the plans for teachers calling out.

In response, they say, "We encourage staff to report to work tomorrow in the best interest of their students and colleagues. We understand this is a stressful time and invite teachers to work directly with administration as we seek ways to lessen any negative impact on them."

District officials say they had 349 teachers out Friday (for various reasons, not coded to sickout, per se), compared to 244 out last Friday. Officials said they relied on their substitute pool, deans, assistant principals, teacher specialists and others to fill in.

Read the full letter below: