BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Less than a day after Baltimore City School leaders announced some students will be back in the classroom in November, the Teachers’ Union has a stern response.

When the news broke Wednesday, the union said they were left in the dark.

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“That’s the most disrespectful thing our school district could have ever done,” Diamonte Brown, President of Baltimore Teachers’ Union, said.


The plan is to have students with special needs and other urgent requirements back in the classrooms in November, but the union said the proper steps have not been taken to keep everyone safe.

During a virtual town hall Thursday, the district said they’re supplying millions of dollars in PPE and will enforce social distancing and keep students in strict classroom “pods.” There will also be contact tracing in the event of an outbreak.

“We do have protocols in place that have been developed in collaboration with the broad range of health professionals,” Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises said.

Dr. Santelises added that this plan is not mandatory for families.

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“The majority of our students in schools will remain virtual. All families will continue to have a virtual option, so we are not saying everybody must return in person,” said Dr. Sonja Santelises, Baltimore City Schools CEO.

But President Brown pushed back against the plans.

“Right now, what people are telling educators is that you don’t trust our judgment, because we’ve been telling you all for the past seven months, that it’s not safe right now to return to buildings,” President Brown said.

Going back and forth about who will go back to school isn’t only playing out in Baltimore.

Carroll County was set to open up their school doors two days a week starting Monday. But late Wednesday night, they modified the plan.

Elementary and middle schoolers will be allowed in, but high schoolers will have to wait until mid-November.

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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