Andover teachers continue to voice safety concerns as students return to school

ANDOVER, MASS. (WHDH) - The Andover Education Association is continuing to voice their concerns about the health and safety of those entering school buildings as about 5,000 students returned to class Thursday.

The union says that educators and staff would welcome back those students but “under duress.”

“We have serious concerns about the health, safety, and well-being of the entire APS community, including students, teachers, and staff,” AEA released in a statement. “Additionally, after ten days of preparation, we feel that there are a lack of clarity and still too many unanswered questions about curriculum and safety policy, prohibiting us from providing effective instruction to our students.”

In August, some teachers refused to enter school buildings following a union vote to begin school remotely, which would be followed by a phased-in approach amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The state labor board deemed that refusal an unlawful strike, which the union was ordered to end.

The union says they are concerned about the HVAC systems, delays in lesson plans, and safety protocols.

Despite their concerns, the AEA added in their statement that, “We will welcome our students back with warmth and enthusiasm, but we will be worrying about them from the moment they step into our schools.”

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