Fryelands Elementary School in Monroe. (Monroe School District)

Fryelands Elementary School in Monroe. (Monroe School District)

Monroe teachers who resist in-person classes could be fired

The district is bringing first-graders back to schools Tuesday. Their usual teachers might not be there.

MONROE — Some Monroe first-graders are to resume in-person learning Tuesday. Their usual teachers might not be there.

The Monroe School District and the Monroe Education Association have yet to reach agreement on safety protocols for bringing more students back to campuses amid a steep rise in COVID activity across Snohomish County.

If the educators don’t show, they could be fired, according to a letter to staff from Superintendent Justin Blasko.

“Monday’s threat to our teachers is simply an attempt at bullying and intimidation by district leaders who know those behaviors are prohibited in our public schools,” union President Robyn Hayashi said in a news release. “The district apparently has become more focused on proving that ‘the school board is the boss’ than caring about students, families or employees.”

On Monday, some parents in Monroe protested the reopening plan outside the district’s offices.

But the district is moving ahead with its plan, spokesperson Tamara Krache said.

“The Monroe School District has safety plans in place and reviewed them with staff today,” Krache said in an email.

The district will provide first-grade students with two days of in-person instruction and three days of remote learning each week. Under the hybrid schedule, students in each class were to be split into two groups that would attend on different days.

Administrators say they have a thorough safety plan and cite local and state public health experts who say it’s OK to bring some students back to class, despite record-breaking case counts.

Part of a letter sent to teachers by Monroe schools Superintendent Justin Blasko.

Part of a letter sent to teachers by Monroe schools Superintendent Justin Blasko.

Recent public health data show that despite cases popping up at schools which have re-opened, safety measures like masks, distancing, ventilation and hybrid schedules are preventing widespread transmission through classrooms or campuses.

“We will welcome first-grade students back tomorrow morning with the full support of the Snohomish County health district,” Krache said.

But union leaders say the district’s plan is flimsy and lacks collaboration with teachers.

“We haven’t seen a big outbreak, yet,” union spokesperson and third-grade teacher Andrea Hehn said. “That’s the fear of those who are working. We just don’t think it’s worth risking.”

The decision to not show up for class Tuesday isn’t a strike, the union said.

“The move is not a strike: teachers are following the signed, written contract from the district that says remote instruction will be used until a new, agreed-upon plan is in place,” the union said in a news release. “No revisions to that September directive from the district have been negotiated and approved.”

The district previously planned to bring first-graders for in-person learning on Monday. But with no deal in sight with the union, both sides agreed to delay the restart.

On Saturday, the school board voted to push the start back one day, to Tuesday.

Months ago, the district resumed in-person instruction for kindergarten and special education students.

Since then, the union says, it’s seen inconsistent safety procedures from school to school.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
1 dead in motorcycle crash on Highway 522 in Maltby

Authorities didn’t have any immediate details about the crash that fully blocked the highway Friday afternoon.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett mom charged with first-degree murder in death of son, 4

On Friday, prosecutors charged Janet Garcia, 27, three weeks after Ariel Garcia went missing from an Everett apartment.

Dr. Mary Templeton (Photo provided by Lake Stevens School District)
Lake Stevens selects new school superintendent

Mary Templeton, who holds the top job in the Washougal School District, will take over from Ken Collins this summer.

A closed road at the Heather Lake Trail parking lot along the Mountain Loop Highway in Snohomish County, Washington on Wednesday, July 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Mountain Loop Highway partially reopens Friday

Closed since December, part of the route to some of the region’s best hikes remains closed due to construction.

Emma Dilemma, a makeup artist and bikini barista for the last year and a half, serves a drink to a customer while dressed as Lily Munster Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, at XO Espresso on 41st Street in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
After long legal battle, Everett rewrites bikini barista dress code

Employees now have to follow the same lewd conduct laws as everyone else, after a judge ruled the old dress code unconstitutional.

The oldest known meteor shower, Lyrid, will be falling across the skies in mid- to late April 2024. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)
Clouds to dampen Lyrid meteor shower views in Western Washington

Forecasters expect a storm will obstruct peak viewing Sunday. Locals’ best chance at viewing could be on the coast. Or east.

AquaSox's Travis Kuhn and Emerald's Ryan Jensen an hour after the game between the two teams on Sunday continue standing in salute to the National Anthem at Funko Field on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New AquaSox stadium downtown could cost up to $120M

That’s $40 million more than an earlier estimate. Alternatively, remodeling Funko Field could cost nearly $70 million.

Downtown Everett, looking east-southeast. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20191022
5 key takeaways from hearing on Everett property tax increase

Next week, City Council members will narrow down the levy rates they may put to voters on the August ballot.

Everett police officers on the scene of a single-vehicle collision on Evergreen Way and Olivia Park Road Wednesday, July 5, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Photo provided by Everett Police Department)
Everett man gets 3 years for driving high on fentanyl, killing passenger

In July, Hunter Gidney crashed into a traffic pole on Evergreen Way. A passenger, Drew Hallam, died at the scene.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.