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Five EBR schools closed Monday due to teacher sick-out

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BATON ROUGE - Though East Baton Rouge Parish's youngest students are returning to full-time classes beginning Monday, five of EBR's schools will be closed due to a planned teacher sick-out.

While some parents praise the parish for their handling of the COVID-19 health crisis and are eager to see their K-5th grade children leave challenging virtual classrooms behind and return to in-person instruction on campus, quite a few teachers have an opposing opinion.

The teachers feel officials aren't doing enough to thoroughly sanitize classrooms and protect the health of students, staff, and faculty. So, they planned a sick-out that led to the Monday, October 5th closures of Belaire High, Brookstown Middle, Glen Oaks Park Elementary, Park Forest Elementary, and Park Forest Middle.

The teachers are demanding officials do more to protect the health of those on campus. According to The Advocate, the sick-out was planned by the East Baton Rouge Parish Association of Educators as its members were concerned the cleaning of buildings wasn't properly carried out. They also cited worries about the availability of personal protective equipment and sanitizing supplies for their rooms.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Brian Parker, a father of three children, told WBRZ, "I think they've put in the appropriate measures to keep the kids safe from what I've seen, so I feel more comfortable with a slower pace return to school. I'm hopeful that they'll be able to stay in-person once they resume fully.”

EBR Schools issued a statement regarding the sick-out, stating students who attend the five closed schools would be required to make up the lost instructional time. A timeline regarding those makeup dates has yet to be determined. The district said it will "evaluate the school calendar and announce the makeup date for these six schools as soon as possible."

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