Dr. Martell responds to REA, Harlem Federation of Teachers

Comes after Monday press conference regarding COVID-19 cases in schools.
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 3:17 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Dr. Martell responded to the Rockford Education Association and the Harlem Federation of Teachers after they issued letters following her comments on Monday.

"I understand and appreciate the concerns that have been expressed by the Rockford Association and the Harlem Federation of Teachers. We have a shared responsibility as teachers, staff, administrators, parents/guardians, and the greater community, to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the school environment. This is the same shared responsibility that has been highlighted in other news briefings addressing restaurants, bars, retail stores, places of worship, and other businesses in our community.

The disproportionate number of adult cases within the school environments is concerning. Adults have greater control and authority over their lives and potential exposures than children. The ask of all adults, including teachers and parents/guardians, is to exercise this control and be intentional in our actions inside and outside the school environment to reduce the risk inside schools during the pandemic. There was no intent to diminish the professional role of teachers in our community. I value and respect the work of all those in the schools and I know that COVID-19 has caused many disruptions. I appreciate all the efforts that have been made by so many, including teachers, administrators, parents and students.

I recognize that holding us all accountable is difficult. The positivity rate for Winnebago County is now at 8% and the number of new cases is above 50/100,000 over the past 7 days. We need to all work together to protect our lives and livelihood. We all must be intentional about our actions and exposures."

To read the Rockford Education Association and the Harlem Federation of Teachers original statements, click here.

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