School board member Joyce Morley said teachers have told her the district is not letting teachers work remotely. A district spokeswoman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the district does not have a telework option.
Work requests such as leave or other accommodations could be granted to employees under the Family Medical Leave Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act, the spokeswoman said.
Employees were previously told on Dec. 31, 2020, that they could submit a separate “hardship request application.” Anyone who submitted that request by Jan. 8 was automatically allowed to work remotely for 30 days. The hardship period ended on Feb. 2.
At a meeting Monday, school board member Marshall Orson stressed it was important for the district to begin a safe reopening, adding that it cannot promise that the process will be “risk-free.”
School board chair Vickie Turner questioned if it was right for the district to make teachers “jump through hoops and fill out 50 papers” to have accommodations, while parents have the option to keep their children in virtual classes.
“Teachers are not given an option as if their lives are not more valuable or just as valuable,” she said.
Officials have not said when in-person learning will begin again.
The district’s data said 604 employees and 158 students tested positive for COVID-19 from July 1 to Feb. 3. A campus supervisor at Henderson Middle School recently died due to complications from the coronavirus, the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.