COLUMBUS, OH – More than 3,400 Columbus City Schools educators completed a new survey conducted by their Union, the Columbus Education Association, which reveals shocking lapses in health and safety preparation just days before students are set to return to a hybrid in-person learning model. Respondents to the survey represent approximately 80% of all CCS educators and collectively have more than 45,000 years of experience serving the students of Columbus City Schools.

The CEA survey found that:

  • 25% of CCS educators report that “a few” or “many” in their building were not properly wearing face coverings in common areas.
  • 30% of CCS educators completing the survey were not provided cloth face masks by the district.
  • 37% of CCS educators reported receiving either disinfectant or hand sanitizer but not both.
  • 38% of CCS educators completing the survey did not believe their workspace had been cleaned prior to their return.
  • 70% of CCS educators believe their building does not have the appropriate facilities to promote hand washing for all students.
  • 71% of CCS educators reported receiving no training on how to use the disinfectant they were provided.

“This is an outrageous failure of leadership from our Columbus City Schools Board and Administration.” said John Coneglio, Columbus Education Association president. “On Saturday, Ohio set a single-day record for number of new COVID-19 cases, and our leadership believes it is acceptable to bring students and staff into an environment where the district’s own health and safety protocols are ignored with astounding regularity.”

On July 28, Columbus City Schools announced that all students would begin the year in remote learning, because “Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System currently rates Franklin County at Level 3, Red, indicating very high exposure and spread of COVID-19. The number of confirmed cases is rapidly increasing, and the level of risk is high even with strict health and safety protocols in place for our schools.” The District began in-person student orientations on October 19, with some classes scheduled to resume as soon as October 26, despite the fact that Franklin County was once again raised to Level 3 on October 13.

“This survey confirms our worst fears based on the barrage of health and safety concerns we’ve received,” said Jackie Broderick Patton, RN, CEA Senior Faculty Representative for School Nurses. “We’ve negotiated for strict COVID-19 protocols for our members and our students, and they are being ignored. From a health and safety standpoint, Columbus City Schools is simply unprepared for a return to in-person learning in the midst of a global pandemic.”

The Columbus Education Association is the union representing more than 4,000 teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists, and other education professionals in Columbus City Schools. The Columbus Education Association is a proud affiliate of the Ohio Education Association and the National Education Association.

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