HOUSTON – It was an organized show of support outside the Cy-Fair Independent School District Instructional Center with the occasional show of support from passersby on Jones Road in northwest Houston.
About a dozen protesters gathered outside the district’s headquarters to voice opposition to the school board’s plan to reopen schools on September 8th.
“I don’t think it’s safe to go back to school yet,” said one teacher, who didn’t want to be identified.
The protest complete with a mock cemetery, organizers saying that not giving teachers the right to instruct online-only shows no grave concern about their health.
“At the end of the day a low death rate is still a death rate and we want to keep that out of our schools,” said another teacher, who didn’t want to be identified. “We want to keep our teachers and students safe.”
Opposition also was strong inside the building.
“The decision-makers within the Cy-Fair school district continue to express their concern for students, their concern for parents, but absolutely no concern whatsoever for teachers,” said one man from the microphone during the public comments portion of Monday night’s regularly scheduled school board member.
During the meeting, teachers opposed to face-to-face instruction and their supporters took their chance to speak to the board. Lesley Guilmart was one of them.
“This is the toughest thing I’ve ever faced in my professional life,” Guilmart told KPRC 2.
Guilmart and her husband are both employed by the district. They also have children who attend Cy-Fair schools. Guilmart said not only are she and her husband not getting the option to work remotely. As teachers, their kids will be required to take part in face-to-face learning as well.
“I feel like my entire family’s at risk and we’re having to choose between our livelihood and our safety,” Guilmart said.
After no changes made to reopening plans Monday night, school is scheduled to start in Cy-Fair ISD on Sept. 8 with a virtual and in-person option.