HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — It was back to the classroom this week for the 120 teachers in the Huntington Beach Union High School District who have been teaching from home since the school year began.
The option of remote teaching is no longer being offered by the district, which has prompted a group of students to organize a virtual strike in support of their teachers who have been forced to use their sick time or take a leave of absence if they do not feel safe returning to campus.READ MORE: 1 Killed, Another Injured In Glassell Park Shooting; Authorities Searching For Suspect
“The teachers who felt OK to be there, a majority of them do not have severe health issues, and I think it almost proves that these teachers aren’t staying home to be lazy,” Samantha Shaw, an organizer of the student strike, said. “They genuinely have health issues or their family members have health issues so we’re advocating for this minority of teachers to be able to teach at home until it is safe.”
According to the teachers union, there were 80 teachers from a variety of high schools who said they were not comfortable returning for health reasons and would not return until after they have been vaccinated — using up precious sick days or going out on leave.
“We would like them to be able to return to their remote assignments so that they can continue to teach from home,” Shawne Hume, HBUHS District Educators Association president, said. “The students can learn from campus with an adult in the classroom supervising them while their teacher teaches them.”READ MORE: 3 Pop-Up Vaccination Sites To Open In Northeast San Fernando Valley
The student organizers started an online petition stating that the district’s decision “jeopardizes the education of many HBUHSD students,” especially those enrolled in advanced courses, but the students said nothing has convinced the district to change course.
“We’ve had numerous students voice their strong opinions in support of the teachers, and the district still has not listened,” Shaw said.
The students said they planned to try again at next week’s school board meeting.MORE NEWS: Driver Identified In Bizarre Pursuit Involving BMW Doing Donuts, Hitting Pedestrian
The district did not immediately respond to a request for comment.