HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Lilas Sinwich has been a teacher for 10 years and now works as a high school English coach and is very concerned about going back to school in the fall.
“I am already immune-compromised and on Immunosuppressants, so I can’t get sick,” said Sinwich.
She’s concerned that it won’t be possible to keep students socially distant and it won’t be possible to keep the school clean.
“There’s just too many people, too many viruses. The kids bathrooms run out of soap if they have any. They hardly ever do and so teachers I know, we have to buy our own cleaning supplies,” said Sinwich.
Christie Como has been a teacher for 15 years and has her own health concerns.
“I have been a type one diabetic for 44 years. I am 46 years old. I have worked my entire life to be healthy and not succumb to the complications of diabetes. I’m not sure if you are aware but one out of three diabetics are dying from COVID,” said Como.
Still, Gov. DeSantis is mandating that all schools must reopen in the fall stating as a parent he would not be concerned sending his children to school this fall. He even noted that his three children are not school-age.
“I would not hesitate putting them in, in terms of the risk because fortunately, the risk for kids is extremely low,” DeSantis said.
Como disagrees with the governors notion and does not think schools are currently safe.
“I have been quarantined since March to protect myself, still quarantined now and yet the school district is forcing me to return to work when it’s not safe. I don’t understand why at the height of the virus in Florida we are opening up schools,” said Como.
Hillsborough County district leaders met with union leaders from the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association on Thursday to map out a plan for a safe return for students and teachers.
“Well right now we are trying to meet the mandate of the Governor, which is, he’s requiring us to have schools open five days a week, so within that mandate, we are trying to make sure they are as safe as possible,” said Rob Kriete with the CTA.
Teachers just aren’t sure any plan can provide a safe environment at this time.
“I think everybody is just flying by the seat of their pants and they don’t really know how they are going to do this and I come across and that’s why everybody is so anxious,” said Sinwich.
The first day back to school in Hillsborough County is Aug. 10.