Arizona school district forced to cancel reopening after teachers stage "sickout"

by Jordyn Pair · Aug 17th, 2020 10:56 am

Last Updated Aug 18th, 2020 at 4:57 pm

An Arizona school district had to cancel its planned reopening on Monday after more than 100 teachers staged a "sickout," calling in sick for the day.

"We received an overwhelming response from staff indicating that they do not feel safe returning to classrooms with students," J.O. Combs Unified School District Superintendent Gregory Wyman said in a statement. "In response, we have received a high volume of staff absences for Monday citing health and safety concerns. Due to these insufficient staffing levels, schools will not be able to re-open on Monday as planned."

Wyman said that it was unclear how long teachers would call in sick. Both in-person and virtual classes will be canceled.

"Please know that we are acutely aware of how polarizing this issue is, and how challenging these ongoing developments are for our entire community," Wyman said. "We will continue to work closely with our employees and our families to develop solutions that provide a safe and healthy return to school."

The district has more than 600 employees, roughly 250 of which are teachers, according to a district spokesperson. Of those, 109 staff members had called in sick for Monday. More than 23 employees have resigned in the district since July 1.

? Teachers in two other Phoenix-area districts announced last week that they would resign or sit out of classes to protest reopenings.


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