Amarillo Education Association starts petition for safe schools during COVID-19

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Education Association has recently started a petition to call on the Board of Trustees of Amarillo ISD to reconsider some of the measures they are taking in regard to COVID-19 on campuses.

As of Nov. 8, Amarillo ISD was sitting at 603 total student cases and 393 total staff COVID-19 cases. With the start of November, AISD has the most COVID-19 cases within a district in Texas, excluding COVID-19 hotspots like Dallas and El Paso.

The President of the Amarillo Education Association, Aaron Phillips, said some of the things they are asking for in the petition is for the district to hire enough staff to fully separate remote and face-to-face teaching duties, if the hospitalization rates for the region remain above 15 percent, the district will enter into remote learning and other things.

Phillips said the board needs to do all they can as the governing body of the district to make sure students and staff stay safe.

“This isn’t something we’re saying necessarily administration is failing us. We know they are working hard. We would like to see these things tightened up. We think some of this is a governance issue, that’s why this is addressed to the school board, we want the school board to take an action,” said Phillips.

Phillips said that with the death of one staff member and one student in the district, more actions need to be taken.

“We want to make it through the rest of the school year preserving as much life as possible while providing the best education that we can,” said Phillips.

Phillips added the community needs to do all they can to help as well.

“We also want the community to know and hear we are potentially headed for a desperate situation and we need folks to step up and help us get through these hard times,” said Phillips.

Phillips said they want to take this petition to the school board before the Christmas break in December.

So, far the petition has over 200 signatures with a goal of 400 signatures. If you would like to find more information on that petition, you can find a link to it here.

We reached out to AISD for comment on this story. They declined to interview, but sent this statement:
“We are always appreciative of input from our staff and community, particularly as we work to make important decisions in difficult times.”

We have reached out to AISD several times for interviews regarding COVID-19, most have been declined, but they have often issued statements to us.

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