BOHEMIA

Connetquot teachers protest lack of health measures

Over 200 vehicles circled the central office last Tuesday

Randall Waszynski
Posted 9/18/20

Infuriated by the 100 percent virtual learning plan unilaterally put in placeby Connetquot Central School District superintendent Lynda Adams, the district’s teachers drove around the central …

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BOHEMIA

Connetquot teachers protest lack of health measures

Over 200 vehicles circled the central office last Tuesday

Posted

Infuriated by the 100 percent virtual learning plan unilaterally put in place
by Connetquot Central School District superintendent Lynda Adams, the district’s teachers drove around the central office on Ocean Avenue in protest
on the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 8. Connetquot Teachers Association president Anthony Felicio stood in the middle of the parking lot discussing the lack of health and safety measures for students and staff into a megaphone, while over 200 vehicles circled the building blaring their horns.

“We are here today to show our disgust and our dissatisfaction with decisions
that are being made by the superintendent unilaterally without any teacher input,” Felicio said. “The plan is doomed for failure. Since the plan has been
into effect, they have not responded to our questions and concerns for weeks
until recently — they started piecemeal answering them.

“Teachers, as of the last few days and the couple of the days they came in last
week, are extremely upset and uncomfortable with the lack of training... just
not enough training to prepare them for live-streaming, virtual learning, all
these new concepts and plans. They are disgusted. They ask their principals, and their principals don’t know what is going on,” Felicio added.

The vehicles lined up on Ocean Avenue and created a line over one mile long north of the central office. However, the teachers are individually afraid to speak. Felicio said that they fear retribution.

“They are afraid of retribution. It is a sad state of affairs when teachers have
to feel afraid to share their professional opinions and true concerns and be afraid of what administration might do back to them,” he said. “As tough as we are and as strong as we back our teachers, we all know they have the power to make someone’s life miserable. That is unfortunate.”

The district relayed that all stakeholders, including teachers, have been informed of what is happening and that communication has been sound.

“We have held Town Hall and virtual meetings, posted a FAQ section to
our website, spoken individually with parents, teachers and staff, as well as
met directly with members of the Connetquot Teachers Association to answer
any questions that were shared,” reads a statement sent to the Suffolk County
News late last week. “We outlined the health and safety precautions that we
have in place, which include outfitting our schools with a three-month supply of PPE, redesigning our classrooms in accordance with physical-distancing
guidelines and the comprehensive cleaning plan that was developed to ensure
our classrooms and shared spaces are disinfected daily. Our staff was also provided with myriad training sessions to help them become familiar with the various platforms the district will be utilizing as part of our hybrid and fully remote learning plans. In short, we remain committed to working together to ensure our schools are operating both educationally sound and in the best interest of our students, staff and community.”

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