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‘Don’t come to school to learn': Local teachers continue to raise concerns as academic year approaches, COVID-19 case numbers remain high

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues new guidelines on how to safely reopen schools

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio teachers are raising concerns as the academic year approaches and COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the area.

Luke Amphlett, a history teacher at Burbank High School with the San Antonio Independent School District, believes parents should get the option to choose online learning for their children.

“If it’s possible, and you are given the choice, don’t come to school to learn,” Amphlett said.

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District issued a health directive that extended virtual learning should continue until at least Sept. 7.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes in-person learning is beneficial for the community, particularly students and teachers.

Amphlett is unsure if the classroom is a safe place to be.

“These new guidelines from the CDC do not seem to based on the data, do not seem to be based on the science,” he said.

The CDC issued guidelines to help administrators reopen schools safely this fall.

However, the CDC recommends schools remain closed if community transmission does not decrease. It also said virtual learning should continue to keep students and staff safe.

The city of San Antonio developed a task force consisting of teachers, nurses, doctors, parents and students to address when it is safe to open school campuses.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said now would not be the time.

“We need to have transmission well under control, and that’s not where we are yet,” he said.

Amphlett misses the interactions with students and teachers, but he said education should not come before health.

“We have to keep them safe, and we have to keep them alive,” Amphlett said.