New Hanover County’s Assoc. of Educators backs eliminating K-5 suspensions, calls for more social distancing in Plan A

Local groups still hoping for increased safety measures in schools ahead of Plan A

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - During a press conference Monday afternoon, the New Hanover County Association of Educators again pushed for further safety measures as the district prepares to open under Plan A on March 8, while also announcing the group’s support for the elimination of suspensions as disciplinary action in elementary schools.

The council that recommended the change calls it a racial justice issue.

“During the 2018-2019 school year, there were over 2900 suspensions in our schools,” said Dorian Kamarte with the NAACP. “66% of those were black students even though black students made up only 18% of the population.”

Students in New Hanover County will return to full-time in person learning next Monday, March 8th.

Families have the option to continue with full-time virtual learning.

Before the transition happens, the association of educators is again asking that six-feet of social distancing guidelines be implemented, despite the fact that the state’s strong schools re-opening toolkit specifically says elementary schools don’t need to follow that six-feet guidance.

They also want all school staff who want the COVID-19 vaccine to have the chance to receive it before Monday.

“Until all public school employees willing to receive the shot, take the shot, we need to support school staff in getting the appointments to get the vaccine,” said NHCAE president Amanda White.

They also want to see more supervision for school bus riders.

“On the bus, without a monitor to re-enforce social distancing, is very unsafe because there’s no ventilation,” said Charmaine Mack.

The Board of Education meets Tuesday.

Chairwoman Stefanie Adams confirms they’ll discuss the proposal to eliminate suspensions in elementary schools.

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