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Union leaders express concerns after Monroe teachers, students test positive for COVID-19

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 11:16 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A reported number of positive COVID-19 cases across the Monroe City School System has caused some major concerns.

“This week has been pretty good, but last week I wasn’t sure if we’d make it through the week,” said Sandy Lollie.

Sandy Lollie is the President of the Monroe Federation of Teachers.

She said she’s unsure of the exact amount, but almost every school in the district has had a reported case since returning to the classroom this fall.

“Almost every school with the exception of maybe one or two has had a case or two,” said Lollie.

Lollie added that she’s received dozens of calls from employees saying a teacher or staff member has tested positive, but are too afraid to come forward out of fear of retaliation or losing their job.

“They know of cases of employees having the virus, testing positive for the virus and still at work,” said Lollie.

Lollie said she was able to help a district employee recently who tested positive and had work concerns.

She says she wants to provide that same help to others, but due to health and privacy laws, her hands are tied unless that person speaks out.

“I get emails, I get texts daily with pictures to show that they’re not social distancing, that they’re not wearing masks and these are like particles waiting to explode if somebody doesn’t do something about it,” said Lollie.

Lollie suggested implementing an anonymous testing and reporting system.

She says something needs to be done before a potential cluster outbreak happens.

“We need to have some type of mechanism in place that can give us numbers, accurate numbers to determine in each individual school who is positive or not. Not necessarily with a name, but so that something can be done so that the virus does not spread,” said Lollie.

Monroe City School Board President Betty Ward Cooper issued a statement in response to this story.

“COVID-19 concerns are being expressed. As Board President, I am currently investigating and seeking the latest data so I can share with the public."

We reached out to the Superintendent’s office for comment. They have not returned our messages at this time.

Copyright 2020 KNOE. All rights reserved.

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