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MPUSD teaching assistant speaks out over concerns hosting in-person classes

MPUSD teaching assistant speaks out over concerns hosting in-person classes

MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) Staff with an extended learning program at the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District say they are worried about having to return to the classroom with kids starting next week.

It is all part of a childcare program at several schools within the district.

At least one teaching assistant who reached out to KION claims she and her colleagues at the ELO department are being required to host in-person class with as many as a dozen students.

All this while she claims teachers can work remotely. In a statement given over the phone, the TA, who wanted to remain anonymous out of fear of losing her job, says: "I just think it's pretty unfair. At the end of the day we are putting ourselves at risk like in my situation, where I have family. I come from work and if something happens to me or I get infected, then I'm coming bringing that to my house."

KION reached out to MPUSD multiple times throughout the night on Thursday for direct, broadcasted comments in response to these claims. However, we did not hear back from them.

A district spokesperson who only briefly spoke over the phone says under the state's COVID-19 guidance for schools, they are are allowed to host these kinds of in-person programs.

But the TA is still concerned about exposure. While she understands the district has provided safety protocols and supplies for work, she still worries about the the in-person interaction.

The district says in a survey, most of the ELO staff feel comfortable coming back to the worksite. But the TA claims she got an email stating if she cannot continue with the ELO portion of her work, then she will have to fill out a leave of absence.

"I'm left with no choice. I have bills, I have a family I have to support. I can't afford just to say OK fine, I'm going to quit and that's that," the TA said.

The TA hopes the district can find another way to accommodate staff who are still concerned about being in class. She says she has to report physically for that work next week on Monday.

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Josh Kristianto

Josh Kristianto is a weekend anchor and multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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