Virginia Education Association Calls for All-Virtual Instruction through Mid-January
December 10, 2020
December 10, 2020
Contact: John O’Neil, VEA Communications, 804-873-8316
With COVID-19 cases climbing rapidly after the Thanksgiving holiday, the 40,000-member Virginia Education Association today called for public schools to go all-virtual through at least mid-January.
VEA President Dr. James J. Fedderman issued the following statement:
No one wants Virginia students to be taught inside the schools more than Virginia’s educators. But over the past week, Virginia has averaged 3,521 COVID-19 cases per day, an increase of 41 percent from the average two weeks earlier. The numbers don’t lie, and the human toll behind each of those numbers demand that we pause in-person learning until the situation rights itself.
Today, I am calling on Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the superintendents and school boards across this great Commonwealth to immediately order a conversion to all-virtual instruction in public schools until at least mid-January 2021, when the numbers can be re-evaluated.
This week’s rising number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths afflicting our Commonwealth, and the nation, reflect the all-too-human desire to be with loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday. There cannot be any doubt that during and following the December holiday season we will, tragically, see more cases and more deaths attributable to increased social contact. Those governing our public schools owe it to the students, their families and communities, and our hard-working teachers and support professionals to minimize the exposures, not compound them.
Public schools are attempting an unprecedented balancing act. We must ensure that our students are learning—but we cannot take actions that put the health and safety of students, or educators, or Virginia families at risk when safer options are available. Learning losses will be made up, but loss of life cannot be. We know that virtual learning is not a true substitute for the in-person instruction we have embraced for generations. But as our nation approaches some 300,000 deaths from this pandemic, it IS the safest and wisest course to take right now. We urge the Governor and all school system leaders to take the cautious, and correct path.