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Local teachers unions demand remote learning this fall

Educators say there are too many unknowns.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Terri Crothers, a middle school art teacher in Gallipolis, Ohio, recently made national news.

The 57-year-old diabetic wrote goodbye letters to her family fearing she would contract COVID-19 next month when she returned to the classroom.

“I love my students,” Crothers said. “But I don’t want to make my child an orphan trying to take care of somebody else’s kids.”

She is not alone.

On Thursday, the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union demanded remote learning until at least January.

“There really is no way that we should be starting school,” Karen Rego, union president, said. “We can’t catch children up if we’re ill or we are unable to be in school because of this pandemic.”

The Shaker Heights Teachers Association made a similar case. Its president believes there are simply too many unknowns.

“This is the most difficult teaching, learning, parenting situation I’ve encountered in my 23 years as an educator,” John Morris said. “We do not take this lightly.”

Shaker Heights Superintendent Dr. David Glasner said they are working out details and will have an answer no later than the first week of August.

In a statement to 3 News, Cleveland Heights Superintendent Liz Kirby said discussions are continuing in order to create “the safest, most comprehensive plan possible.”

On Thursday the CDC's Director, Dr. Robert Redfield, said he would be comfortable sending his own grandchildren back.

“Eight of them are school aged,” he said. “100% they can go back to school.”

Cleveland Schools CEO Dr. Eric Gordon is expected to share the district’s final plan for the school year this Friday.

Stay with 3 News for details.

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