Retired teacher demands change from state lawmakers

Retired teacher demands change from state lawmakers
Shelley Smith is demanding action and protection for public school students and employees from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Source: KATV)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ark. (KAIT) - A retired Stone County, Arkansas teacher is on a mission to get state lawmakers attention.

Shelley Smith is demanding action and protection for public school students and employees from the COVID-19 pandemic.

George Yarborough, “Mr. Ron”, is among 12 educators in Arkansas who have passed away from the coronavirus

He was a substitute teacher in the Conway Public School District and was named the Arkansas Substitute of the Year in 2019.

According to a report from KATV, a petition, which had more than 400 signatures within it’s first 48 hours, was created by Smith.

The petition is calling on Governor Asa Hutchinson, Secretary of Education Johnny Key, the Arkansas state senate, and the Arkansas state house.

The petition asks for the following:

1. Suspend in-person education for the remainder of this semester. Re-evaluate the situation in January and extend virtual learning if necessary.

2. When school is in session, or when personnel are working on campus, enact strict enforcement of the ADH guidelines using unannounced inspections on campuses, and establishing consequences for those not in compliance.

3. Create a plan now for the next semester. Require and enforce strict compliance guidelines, designate specific positive case percentages that would dictate the threshold for change to virtual education.

4. Before and during the upcoming session of the Arkansas Legislature, actively pursue federal relief funding. If no further CARES Act money is forthcoming, approve the use of emergency state funding in order to extend paid sick leave for Covid-related absences, and to maintain a constant stream of cleaning supplies and PPE.

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