LRSD says ‘poorly phrased’ document will be adjusted after push back from teachers, parents

Some Little Rock School District teachers are worried the district isn’t ready to properly handle going back to school after the district released its plan Thursday.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Some Little Rock School District teachers are worried the district is not ready to properly handle going back to school after the district released its plan Thursday.

“I’m very afraid that I’m going to asymptomatically pass this to someone. I am afraid of getting sick myself,” one teacher said.

THV11 spoke with a Little Rock School District teacher who wants to remain anonymous. She does not feel comfortable with the guidelines LRSD put out that are supposed to keep students and staff safe in the classroom.

The district is not requiring students to wear face masks. Instead, it is expected.

RELATED: LRSD advises employees to tell ‘absolutely no one’ if informed of possible coronavirus case

“It says in the document quote ‘Let the parents decide,’ and that creates a lot of fear for me,” the teacher said. “I think the school district could have easily mandated this, we have dress codes. We enforce our dress codes. I’ve seen students sent home for having holes in their jeans.”

If a staff member is informed of possible exposure of COVID-19 from a student or employee, they must tell “absolutely no one.”

“My assumption after reading that was like, am I going to get punished if I tell my husband?” the teacher said.

LRSD Superintendent Michael Poore admits some of the wording in the document was poorly phrased.

“We are amending that document and will resend it out [Friday],” he said.

Poore repeatedly emphasized the district will be “expecting” everyone to wear face masks. Schools will be stocked up with face masks to hand out if someone forgets one. It is unclear if a teacher can tell a child they have to wear one in the classroom.

“We’re going to work with our students so they understand why they need to have their mask on and then we will work with the parent of anyone that does not want to wear a mask and talk to them about that,” Poore said.

RELATED: Start date for Arkansas schools delayed due to coronavirus concerns

Under the state’s guidelines for reopening schools, districts must take this time to stock up on face masks and cleaning supplies. Contact tracing will also be key. Schools will continue to stay open if there’s minimal spread. A school will only close down if there’s a major outbreak.

“One of our plans inside of our Ready to Learn plan is to swivel quickly if we in fact have a situation where there is an outbreak,” Poore said.

But many teachers feel going back while cases are on the rise is not a good idea.

“I don’t want my students to get sick or die or experience the trauma of losing a classmate or teacher to something preventable,” one teacher said.

You can click here to see the revised document from the Little Rock School District.