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Motor March: Teachers demand safe return to classrooms

Motor March: Teachers demand safe return to classrooms
Posted at 9:46 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 00:25:15-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Dozens of educators from various districts drove through the streets of downtown as part of the Red for Ed Motor March. There they voiced the importance of having a safe return to schools.

Educators, support staff, parents, students, and community members all asked for the same thing: respect.

Respect for teachers, students, their families, and even for the voters.

“The voters said, hey let’s take care of our educators, and the legislature says ‘well we know better.’ They don’t. We do. We’re in the trenches,” said Art Almquist.

Almquist is a theater teacher within the Tucson Unified School District.

He and fellow TUSD third grade teacher Wes Oswald disagree with Governor Ducey’s executive order to reopen schools.

“It’s going to result in less than ideal instruction because I’m going to be expected to teach students directly in front of me while teaching students, on Zoom, at the same time,” Oswald told KGUN9.

As it turns out, he isn’t alone. Nicole Ramirez, a fifth grade teacher within the Sunnyside Unified School District agrees. She says she now has to prepare to have roughly 35 students in her classroom.

“Then those 35 students are possibly going home to non-vaccinated family members and that’s just...in my heart...I can’t do that,” added Ramirez.

Meantime, her seven year-old son Jose just wants to learn.

“As long as I become an engineer that can invent, I’m glad to go to school.>

Participants of the Motor March also voiced their concerns about the new bills going through the legislature. Here’s their message to Governor Ducey and state lawmakers.

“With the Governor’s demands, I really feel it’s going to put a huge strain on our district,” said Ramirez.

“Let us do what we do and do it well...not force things on us,” added Almquist.