Southbridge Educators Rally for Safe School Re-Openings

This past Monday, the Southbridge Education Association held a rally to call for safe school re-openings. Their full press release below:

For immediate release

Members of the Southbridge Education Association will hold a rally Monday afternoon to call for the district to plan on starting the school year with remote learning and to devise a phased-in physical return to school buildings based on public health guidelines and measures.

SEA President Jocelyn Tallis said that SEA members want nothing more than to be back in the classroom with their students. But even with hybrid models blending remote and physical learning, the risk to students, educators and the community remains too great.

“The SEA wants the district to commit to a remote learning plan now so we can take the time to make sure we meet the social and emotional needs of students as well as their academic ones,” she said. “We had no time to plan for remote learning in the spring and the end result proved frustrating for many students, educators and families.” 

The rally for a safe return to schools will take place on the Southbridge Common starting at 4 p.m. Monday. Participants will be required to wear masks and employ social distancing. 

The SEA believes that the school year should begin with remote learning and allow the district and educators to plan a phased-in physical return to school buildings that is tied to community health and safety benchmarks and to assessments of conditions of the district’s buildings.  The SEA endorses this strategy adopted by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts, and the Boston Teachers Union.

“Southbridge is under state receivership. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must take the steps necessary to keep our community safe as well as work with us to meet the educational needs of our students.”

Contact: Southbridge Education Association President Jocelyn Tallis (508)-868-5371