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A safe place for teachers: Woman starts private group for educators concerned about COVID

For 30 years, Kelly-George has taught music in schools. The COVID-19 pandemic has now put her and other teachers in a situation they've never been in before.

ATLANTA — One woman is joining forces with other teachers as the cases of COVID keep growing amid kids heading back to the classroom.

Through a special Facebook group, Kathy Kelly-George has already gotten a lot of support. She said she works in metro Atlanta and her page has exploded with members, all teachers, who are voicing their concerns over in-person learning.

For 30 years, Kelly-George has taught music in schools. The COVID-19 pandemic has now put her and other teachers in a situation they've never been in before.

“I think, in a nutshell, everyone is incredulous to provide a safe space for teachers to have discussions,” she said.

So, Kelly-George created the private Facebook group called “Teachers against opening school during a pandemic.”

It started out with just her and two friends and has since exploded in members.

“And, now, we're at the four-week mark and we have over 4,000 members; so, it's a lot of teachers from all around the country who are concerned about the safety of returning,” Kelly-George said.

She said she's concerned about how other staff members, students, and their families will be impacted - just like Angie Franks and her family.

North Paulding High School's principal sent home a letter to families on Saturday saying the school had nine positive COVID-19 cases after the first week of school. Her nephews are two of the students there who contracted the virus.

“Honestly, I would wish that they would just go virtual,” she said. “I wish all schools would go virtual right now and let the virus die out.”

“For your health, in general, virtual is absolutely has to be the safest option,” Kelly-George said.

She added that she hopes those who are critical of virtual learning understand this is about safety.

“In May, we were heroes, we were essential, we were important and that was nice and we didn't need that, but we were and now we're lazy and we're inconsiderate and we're selfish and we are not,” she said.

Kelly-George said that to protect those teachers having those discussions, the group is private you can't search it. But she said that if you want to be a member, you'd have to either be invited by her or another member of the group.

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