MILWAUKEE — As schools are set to begin in the coming weeks, some teachers are still fighting for virtual instruction until COVID-19 is contained.
The Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association (MTEA) caravanned to Madison with teachers unions from Racine and Kenosha. They met up with some teachers from Madison to bring attention to their demands. They are calling on the governor and DHS Secretary Andrea Palm to require schools to stay virtual until the virus is contained.
MTEA President Amy Mizialko said they are calling on the governor and DHS Secretary Andrea Palm to require schools to stay virtual until the virus is contained.
"People are unnecessarily being put in danger and being asked to choose between their health, their family’s health, and doing the job that they love," Mizialko said.
Mizialko said the group put up signs that looked like tombstones, on which were messages that shared their fears about what would happen if schools went face-to-face too early.
Milwaukee Public Schools art teacher John Fleissner helped make the signs.
"Should schools reopen these are the people that would potentially die," Fleissner said.
Fleissner said while it's not ideal, he believes virtual instruction is absolutely necessary.
"It’s not safe right now," Fleissner said.
Gov. Tony Evers said on Monday he wouldn't force schools to go all virtual, saying some districts are much smaller than others and can more easily implement social distancing.
In the meantime, Fleissner is working on how to help his students work on their art this fall and stay connected in this tough time.
"If you’re a good teacher you’re listening and understanding, and trying to empathize, and understand what's going on out there, so you can best connect and teach," Fleissner said.