COLUMBIA, SC – South Carolina educators have been working under unprecedented and extremely difficult working conditions this year to ensure that South Carolina students are receiving a high-quality public education whether through online, hybrid or in-person instruction.
While these educators want to get back to full, in-person education as soon as possible, it is paramount that they do so in a safe environment that protects the lives of students and their families. This week, Senator Shane Massey introduced a resolution that will require DHEC to allow educators to move into Phase 1A and have them fully vaccinated within 30 days. It would require school districts to offer a five-day in-person instruction opportunity two weeks after.
The SCEA supports efforts to prioritize the safety and wellness of the 122,976 educators in South Carolina.
“One of the things we can do to improve our students' outcomes is to ensure that students have continuity in their education experience,” said Greenville high school teacher Cliff Lee. “One of the ways we can ensure this continuity is make sure that educators are a priority in receiving the vaccine.”
Massey added that the uncontrolled spread of the virus is also exposing thousands of community members, requiring teachers and staff to quarantine.
If educators are not vaccinated now, an entire generation could be lost.
“We all know that educators have been working harder than ever this year,” said The SCEA President Sherry East. “We also recognize that face-to-face instruction is the ideal learning environment for students. If legislators are serious about the success of our students, then they will prioritize the vaccine for educators.”
East urges educators and the community to contact their legislators and urge them to support joint resolution S. 516.