CLEVELAND - More than 500 member-leaders of the Cleveland Teachers Union (CTU) voted Thursday to instruct their membership to continue remote instruction on Monday, March 8. This vote is in response to direction from Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Eric Gordon, which mandated that all teachers, paraprofessionals, and related service providers are to return to their assigned worksites on March 8 to teach remotely from their schools.
No students are scheduled to report in-person on Monday and all classes will continue virtually as they have since September. “The members of the Cleveland Teachers Union are eager to come back to the classroom to serve their students in person, but not until we can ensure a safe and orderly return,” said CTU President Shari Obrenski. “We need proven safeguards, like personal protective equipment, distancing, and ventilation, but the District has failed to address our concerns and to provide documentation we have requested.”
In a statement, CTU said the governor’s arbitrary deadline for school reopening has created an unreasonable and forced timeline that makes a safe and orderly transition from remote to hybrid impossible. The current timeline for reopening school does not reflect the shared commitment of the CTU and CMSD to a safe and orderly reopening for staff and students. Obrenski further stated, “A well-planned, science-based reopening plan with safety mitigations in place was the right way to do this. We had that plan moving, and it got derailed. This rush job is fueled by political expediency, not sound science. We know that our schools will be able to reopen – it’s just not yet. We all want the same thing—to be together in school. On Monday, our teachers; paraprofessionals, and related service providers will work to educate and serve our students and our families as we have all school year.”