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Teachers drive for change in Motor March

Posted at 8:44 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 01:11:50-04

TUCSON Ariz. -- With Arizona’s COVID-19 numbers growing daily, Wednesday evening teachers were literally driving for change.

The Motor March took place from about 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The messages painted on car windows said it all. Teachers were asking to keep schools closed until it's safe.

More than 100 cars were honking away, while participants were hoping to be heard.

One of them was Joy Noriega, a teacher at Cholla High School.

“It’s definitely too soon to go back,” said Noriega.

She says Arizona needs to get it’s priorities straight: writing "#1 in COVID #49 in education" on her car.

“Schools are breeding grounds. You’re touching everything and it's just not possible to disinfect everything. Every desk, every sink, every toilet after someone uses it,” she added.

Here’s what they want from Governor Ducey’s office and school districts.

“We want to make sure there’s a 14-day decline. We are asking there to be mandates to make sure everyone is healthy. We also want to make sure they are fully funding our schools, even if we are online, because this is when we need it the most,” Noriega told KGUN9.

Sally Evans, a retired teacher, says opening campuses is going to make things worse.

“It’s crazy to even think of putting children back in the classroom,” said Evans.

When KGUN9 asked her what she would do, if she was still teaching, she said,

“I wouldn’t go. I’d have to stop work. Every teacher gets sick from their students on a regular basis anyway. I can’t imagine it with a virus like this.”

While most teachers say in-person teaching is more effective, they would rather keep instruction solely online--until safety can be guaranteed.

“I just hope they wake up and understand we’ve got this for a long time,” said Evans

“Right now our priority is saving lives,” added Noriega.

Remote learning is supposed to start Aug. 17. So far there is not a set plan as to how that will look for the Tucson Unified School District.