US: Teachers In Iowa Submit Their Obituaries To Governor, As Schools Near Reopening In Spite Of #COVID19

by on August 1, 2020

A group of teachers in Iowa, the United States are reported to have sent their own mock obituaries to their governor in protest, demanding a revisit of plans for reopening schools.

The move was started by Jeremy Dumkrieger, an art teacher from Iowa,who wrote his own mock obituary in protest of the State’s reopening plans of schools amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Dumkrieger said he sent his obit to grab
In his biographical mock notice of death, Dumkrieger wrote:

“Jeremy Dumkrieger, 43, passed away on [insert Date here] due to complications arising from COVID-19. He died alone, isolated from the family who meant the world to him.”

“I’m very scared,” 7th grade teacher Kerry Finley of Iowa City told “Good Morning America.” “Are we going to wear scrubs? Are they going to amend the dress code? If we are going to do this, we are going to have to do this the way the hospitals did. We need training. We can’t just say, ‘OK, go back.'”

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Kerry Finley is one of several educators motivated to write their obituaries after art teacher Jeremy Dumkrieger shared his own with the local news blog, Iowa Starting Line.

“I think what we were trying to do is humanize us in her mind, make her see us as people,” Finley said.

Meanwhile, Iowa, has recorded at least 42,928 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and new daily cases reached 232 this week.

Some schools, like where Dumkrieger teaches, plan to reopen in late August with specific dates varying from school to school.

Dumkrieger complained that no guidelines have been issued for the resumption, as well as protection measures for staff.
“That means every district in Iowa will have completely different plans. Some will wear masks, some will not”, he said.

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During a July 24 press conference in Van Meter, Iowa, Gov. Reynolds said schools must prioritize in-person learning. She emphasized that half of online learning could be implemented, and school districts can request temporary exceptions.

Educators have been protesting in hopes that Reynolds will give local school leaders control in determining the safest return-to-learn plans.

“I would like to see masks on everyone,” Dumkrieger said. “We want a safe return to school, which means safe plans.”

ABC reports that Pat Garrett, a spokesman for the Governor’s Office, said Reynolds believes getting Iowa’s students and teachers back to school safely is an important part of the state’s coronavirus recovery plan.

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In a statement posted to its website, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) further supported the reopening of schools, writing that it “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”

Source/ ABC News

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