Breaking News
More () »

DC teachers quitting over school district's COVID-19 response, classroom safety

One teacher we spoke with hopes to get paid COVID-19 leave reinstated.

WASHINGTON — D.C. Public Schools' return to the classroom has seen a lot of challenges. Everything from broken HVAC systems to new kids having to quarantine every day. Now, many are calling for changes from the District.

One teacher we spoke with is fighting COVID-19 right now, while still trying to work. She and many others think there are obvious changes DCPS could make to help teachers, students and parents.

"It's just frustrating that we have to fight so much," the teacher said.

Her current fight is for paid COVID-19 leave to be reinstated. Her baby caught COVID-19, and then she did. Now, she's trying to take care of two young kids and work from home, since all her paid time off went on maternity leave.

The teacher asked us not to use her name to protect her school administrators, who she says are doing their best.

“I don't know what I'm going to do financially because if I have to take that much time off, I'm still paying for daycare in D.C. even though my son doesn't get to go…and we're just doing the best we can but none of it's very good," she said. "But I don't really have another option. I really wish I could just focus on getting better, and helping my family feel better, and feel happy than having to juggle all of this. But because they took away COVID leave, I don't have another option.”

Other teachers have shared different problems on Twitter, like multiple classrooms with no heat, a flooded classroom with a broken HVAC, kids sent home after isolation, and having to use the same N95 mask the next day because they only get one.

"Back to my crying commute. SOS," one teacher wrote.

DCPS did respond to WUSA9 when asked for comment, but not about its COVID leave policy. A spokesperson addressed concerns about KN95 masks.

“We are committed to provide KN95s for our staff and are working with city partners to resupply schools with additional masks. Public health guidance advises that masks may be worn more than once, and we are closely tracking how staff are utilizing the masks to determine the rate of re-supply," the statement reads.

Some educators have even shared on social media that they've quit because they just couldn't take it anymore, but this teacher really doesn't want to do that.

"I really love my job. I love working with kids. I love teaching kids. Most of the teachers don't want to be virtual, they want to be in the classroom. They just want it to be safe for everyone," she said.

RELATED: DC schools staff, pre-K and kindergarten students must take weekly COVID-19 rapid tests starting Friday

RELATED: DCPS allows signed note from parents proving negative COVID test results for students

WUSA9 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the WUSA9 app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.
Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, delivering the latest breaking news and a roundup of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.

Before You Leave, Check This Out