Tulsa educators call for priority for COVID-19 vaccine

Collaborator: Tulsa Public Schools
Published: 01/29/2021, 11:03 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(TULSA, Okla.) Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist, Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association President Shawna Mott-Wright, and American Federation of Teachers 6049 President Nancy Leonard have released a joint statement about prioritizing educators and other school team members for COVID-19 vaccination. The text of the statement is as follows: Tulsa Public Schools, the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association, and the American Federation of Teachers have remained consistent in our approach to navigating through this pandemic: We have followed the guidance of health professionals. We have prioritized the safety of our support professionals, teachers, school leaders, students, and families; and We have remained committed to providing the best possible student learning experiences that we can in a way that keeps our community safe and healthy. While we are grateful and enthusiastic to partner with the Tulsa Health Department to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to our team members (including nurses, health care assistants, and teachers) ages 65 and older -- we need all of our team members in public education to be vaccinated as soon as possible, particularly those who are at higher risk. At minimum this should include our special education teachers and paraprofessionals who work with our students with special needs who are typically not able to wear masks, which places them at greater risk.
All across the country, states have prioritized teachers and other school team members for the COVID-19 vaccine. We simply believe Oklahoma should do the same, which is why we continue to advocate for teachers, and our team, to be a higher priority in our state. No one wants our students back to school in person more than our teachers, our team, our board, our students, and our parents here in Tulsa. All of our students need and deserve an environment that is safe to learn and grow together in person with their peers and teachers. All of our teachers need and deserve an environment that is safe to work in person with their colleagues and students. All of our support professionals need and deserve an environment that is safe to work in person with their colleagues and team. We continue to urge all Tulsans to wear your masks, wash your hands, and watch your distance to prevent the spread of coronavirus. When we all use these precautions, we can reduce COVID cases and ensure our students can safely return to their classrooms. Our students, teachers, parents, and community deserve better. Oklahoma deserves better. Our children are watching and waiting.


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