TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — The Teachers Association of Baltimore County held a car caravan rally Tuesday, expressing concern that it’s not safe for anyone to return to the classroom amid the coronavirus pandemic.

They were met by a group of parents and students who say the virtual instruction isn’t working and they at least want the option to come back to school.

Kelly Garrison, a first-grade teacher at Villa Cresta Elementary says until it’s safe to go back into the building, she wants to continue teaching her students from a safe distance.

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“School has not been closed. We have been fully operating and educating our students. While that looks different because we are online, students are learning,” she said.

Teachers were met by a group of equally concerned parents and students.

“We deserve the options to decide what is best for our family. And for our family, that is for our children to be back in the classroom,” parent Meghan Malone said.

Baltimore County Schools has said it will begin its phased-in approach, with staff returning on November 2 to four special education schools.

Students would have the option to return on November 16.

In response to Tuesday’s demonstration, school officials released a statement which said, in part:

“BCPS will continue to work closely with families and staff as we consider the safe return of small groups.”

However, some teachers at the schools slated to return in November believe it’s simply not a good idea.

“Our kids, their health is in jeopardy. This is not smart. The science does not back it up,” said teacher Cassie Turner.

Baltimore County Public Schools will continue to have a virtual model to choose from if they have concerns about in-person instruction.

The Baltimore County Board of Education is discussing reopening plans at its next meeting. WJZ will have any updates as they become available.

To learn more about the district’s return plan, please click here.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachel Menitoff

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