TNDP CHAIR MARY MANCINI ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR LEE’S BACK TO SCHOOL PLAN

“Governor Lee’s plan to reopen schools in Tennessee does not follow guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The details of his executive order for reopening, which comes in the middle of a coronavirus surge with almost 95,000 cases and 965 Tennesseans dead, makes it clear that he is still ignoring CDC guidelines and the advice of medical experts. And in his push to reopen, he’s also ignoring the pleas from teachers who are begging for the continuation of remote learning until the spread of the virus is under control.

Lee’s executive order includes resuming contact sports even though sixteen percent of cases of the coronavirus in Tennessee are under the age of 20 and not even professional baseball can’t get through a week of play without spreading the virus. He also doesn’t guarantee that families will be told of cases in individual schools or that everyone in the same class as a confirmed case will be quarantined, both of which are in conflict with CDC guidelines. Lee also ignores the number one consideration outlined by the CDC,  that schools should only reopen if transmission rates in the community are under control.

Governor Lee called school reopening an “experiment. The lives of children, parents, teachers, support staff, and administrators are nothing to experiment with.” 

– Mary Mancini, TNDP Chairwoman