TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — If students and teachers go back to schools in the fall, it cannot be a normal return.
That’s how the state’s largest teachers union led off its recommendations to safely reopen public schools.
The Florida Education Association says there will need to be social distancing on buses and sanitizers inside and outside of classrooms.
They also want to see widespread testing of staff and children for COVID-19.
“We are not only going to have to test those adults. We are going to have test students. We are going to have to test visitors. We are going to have test people who come with deliveries," said FEA President Fed Ingram.
The FEA says vulnerable school employees should still have the option of working from home.
And teachers should have access to protective equipment.
They also stressed the need for additional funding for mental health services to cope with the changes and restrictions students will be returning to.
“As they are dealing with a lot of these feelings and emotions, having someone there that can really help them understand and worth through some of those feelings is going to be vitally important," said FEA Vice President Andrew Spar.
The FEA committee says even with all the changes, they want students to still have fun at school.
“We have got to get this right so our kids have an interest. So our kids become workers. So that our kids become college students and our college students become the next drivers of our Florida economy," said Ingram.
The FEA committee said different school districts will have different needs.
They also said the Governor’s Education Task Force has too many people from the business world and not enough educators.