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Subbing with No Mask
Old 09-04-2020, 09:00 AM
 
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I live in PA. I work for a sub agency. Our Governor, in conjunction with the Dept. Of Health and the Dept. Of Education, has issued multiple mask mandates since April. Each of them has contained exemptions for people with medical conditions who can't wear a face covering. I am one of those people. Most businesses/stores have been good about honoring the Governor's exemptions, but there a few who have given me grief, and also some hecklers (customers). The HR Director of my sub agency told me that I have nothing to worry about because the Dept. Of Education's reopening guidelines mentioned the mask-wearing exemptions specifically for both students and adults. School districts were required to include it in their reopening plans, and they should all be aware. Still, I am nervous about showing up each morning. I have two doctor's letters that I carry around with me, and my sub agency has a copy of them on file. But I've experienced several instances of people doing everything from frowning at me to calling the police on me this summer when I was out in public. I don't want to travel to a school, just to have them turn me away. Per the Governor's exemptions, they are not supposed to do that, but I'm still uneasy about the whole situation.


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Old 09-04-2020, 04:21 PM
 
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IMO you shouldnít be subbing if you canít wear a mask. You could be spreading it to others, and itís dangerous for you to be in a school without one.
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I agree with PP
Old 09-04-2020, 04:49 PM
 
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I believe you that you have a doctorís note, but itís a scary time to be in a school. I resent anyone who doesnít protect me as I work so hard to protect my students and colleagues. No mask, no subbing. Stay safe!
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Old 09-04-2020, 05:02 PM
 
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What about a face shield? What medical condition would keep you from wearing one of those? One woman told me she loves it because she can breath. I thought about getting one, myself. And then people can see your expressions and stuff.
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Old 09-04-2020, 05:18 PM
 
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Iím sorry, but I would not feel comfortable having you sub at my school. We are trying to use subs who will commit to only being at our school. We are all masked. (A face shield is additional protection to be used in addition to a mask, not in place of it.)

Could you do online tutoring or subbing for someone who is only teaching online?


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Old 09-04-2020, 06:23 PM
 
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I didn't know that. I actually thought a face shield would be better.

I asked my husband and he said that is the current thought. At his work (he works in a manufacturing plant, and is "essential "), they told them that it had to be a mask, not a shield.

I'm surprised.
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Old 09-04-2020, 09:02 PM
 
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I agree with PPs. You really shouldn't be subbing if you can't wear a mask. It's not just for your protection, but to keep the children and other staff safe from you. You could become contagious with covid and have no symptoms at all. I'm in the high risk group and decided to stop subbing until this is over. If I was you, I'd try finding virtual teacher or sub jobs.

bodhimom - Here's a good video showing the ineffectiveness of a face shield without a mask.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/cor...245415050.html
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Maskless student
Old 09-05-2020, 07:22 AM
 
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There is a student in the special needs class who cannot wear a mask. He does not understand, and he instantly pulls if off when they have tried. Same with a face shield. My question is, how is this okay? Gen Ed students were told if they were unable to wear a mask due to health or mental reasons, they would need to make alternate arrangements for school. This student is especially worrisome because he coughs a lot (no covering, of course) and also spends a lot of his day blowing vigorous "raspberries." I hate to turn them down when they need help (which is every day right now), but I do not think it is right or safe with him there. I would think he would be considered "medically fragile" anyway, and would stay home for that reason alone.
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:44 AM
 
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I think there would be legal issues, if the school said he couldn't go because he wouldn't/couldn't wear a mask, unless the parent agreed with them.

If the student can't wear the mask because of his disability, they probably would have to make an exception for him.
He is supposed to be in the "least restrictive environment," and that could get sticky if the parents want him at school.

I think schools are terrified of getting sued.

That's my take, anyway.
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:52 AM
 
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Here in NJ (which has same law as PA), you have to submit a doctor's note to the school district that exempts you from wearing a mask. I am so sorry to hear all the discrimination you have dealt with, due to your medical condition. Yes, if you wish to return to work, you have EVERY RIGHT TO. Masks are only somewhat effective if you cant stay 6 ft apart from others and CDC recently released studies proving that the virus can only be transmitted if you are within 6 ft of someone without a mask on for more than 15 minutes! (This is why the virus spreads so fast in places like bars or house parties, not by just passing someone on the street). Therefore, if you return to work without a mask, just try and stay at least 6ft away from the students.

The poster above me is correct that you could have a really good lawsuit against the school district if they discriminate against you for your medical condition. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the school just decides to rehire you as a sub, but doesnt offer you any assignments. They can always just claim that they have enough subs and your services are not needed. It is still discrimination but harder to prove.


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Old 09-06-2020, 09:59 AM
 
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Since we are all totally anonymous, here, I'm wondering if the OP would be willing to share what condition they have that makes it where they can't wear a mask? I'm in no way being judgmental, here, I'm just really curious.

I'm assuming asthma?
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Old 09-06-2020, 11:12 AM
 
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As for me, I do NOT have asthma or any medical condition, but do have trouble breathing when the air temp is hot and the mask is covering both my nose and mouth. For example, when I am in a hot subway station, I MUST lower my mask at least under my nose to breathe comfortably. The same would potentially apply if I were in a warm classroom. It is not healthy (and could be dangerous) to cover your nose and mouth in hot conditions). Several school districts near me without air conditioning recognize this danger and therefore vowed to close on any day that the temps are hot and humid.
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Old 09-06-2020, 11:38 AM
 
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OMG You mean there are schools that don't have air conditioning? It must have an impact on student learning if teachers can't control the temperature in their class.

I think they should take money from something else, like buying whiteboards (most colleges don't have whiteboards) and put it into air conditioning.

I don't like working in classrooms where I can't control the temperature, and neither do my students. Yikes!
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Yup
Old 09-06-2020, 01:21 PM
 
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I have schools with either no AC or district controlled AC. Still not sure if I can go back. No jobs yet anyway, but I expect that will change soon and I will have to make some decisions. It is 100 degrees here today and it will be in the 80s-90s fo at least the next two months.

Last edited by CC96; 09-06-2020 at 02:51 PM..
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Black, white, gray.
Old 09-06-2020, 02:35 PM
 
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In defense of the original poster, I have COPD and have a lot of difficulty wearing a mask, especially while talking or teaching. My pulse ox (oxygen saturation rate) consistently drops 2-4 points while wearing a mask. Federal law clearly states that I do not have to disclose those specifics. And, frankly, most people donít actually care. Rather than debate the scienceówhich is debatableóI do my best to accommodate peopleís fears. In my classes with adults, I keep a mask around my neck and put it on if it becomes necessary to come within the sacred six foot space. So far, itís been a reasonable solution. I have not yet worked with kids, as our schools are just starting to open.

The fundamental problem seems to be with those who want it to be all or nothing. Gray is, in fact, a color.
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:17 PM
 
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I think it is totally reasonable to wear the mask around your neck (people can see that you are not anti-mask), and put it on if within 6 feet; in fact, I always thought that was what was asked of us to do. Within the last few weeks, however, I'm noticing people getting ragged on for not wearing a mask when they are nowhere near anybody else. I have seen this kind of complaining on the news a few times.
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:24 PM
 
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Frankly, and I know this may be hurtful, I don't really care why someone is not wearing a mask. Medical reason, doesn't like masks, doesn't believe in masks, whatever. I do not want to be in a room with that person, and I think I have a right to that protection.

I would be angry if my child's teacher didn't wear a mask.

I think that the ability to wear a mask is a job-requirement at 5he moment. It's similar to requiring some workers to be able to lift 50 pounds or to climb a ladder.
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:32 PM
 
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Even if over 6 feet away?

I think that requiring a mask even when over 6 feet away from anybody is excessive and might exacerbate the pushback from people against wearing masks.

People are more willing to something that they see as reasonable, and I think that requiring a mask when over 6 feet from anybody would seem excessive for most people, and may even backfire, making people that might have worn one, when necessary, to rebel against wearing one, at all.
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:33 PM
 
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When you are hired for a job, there are certain requirements and if those requirements change and you can no longer meet those requirements for whatever reason then you should be able to collect unemployment for not being able to work the job you were originally hired for. As for masks, I think if you canít be 6 feet away from somebody you need to wear a mask. I am not anti-mask, I am not pro mask. I think the whole issue has been blown out of proportion, we just have to do what we can do. I will not however live in fear!
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:41 PM
 
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CC96, I totally agree.
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:20 PM
 
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If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you should not be working in schools! For your own health and safety. Don't risk it. Find a virtual job, online tutoring, etc. A school is not where you want to be working right now.
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:44 PM
 
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It is actually illegal to not allow someome to work due to a medical condition. It is discriminatation. Furthermore, the job market is not that good right now.
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:28 PM
 
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It may be illegal, but that doesn't mean that someone with a medical condition can't spread it. It doesn't mean that it is a good idea.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:34 PM
 
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Many studies now indicate that the majority of asymptomatic people do not spread a deadly strain of it anyway. Therefore if you are not feeling sick, you are most likely not going to kill someone else by not wearing a mask. But if subbing is your only way of getting income now and you are not feeling sick, I understand the need to work even with a medical condition. I am not one to judge unless I walk in their shoes. If the school district feels it is dangerous allowing him/her to work, then that person should be able to at least collect disability.
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Old 09-11-2020, 03:32 AM
 
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Personally, I wouldn't sub (or teach) if I couldn't wear a mask. Normally, since my contracted job is only 2 days/week, I will take sub jobs on the other days but this year I'm not doing that. Even with a mask, I don't want that much exposure for myself and I don't want to risk carrying the virus from school to school.

As for the 6 ft. rule, it might be reasonable if people had the foggiest notion of how far 6 feet actually is. I'm seeing plenty of classrooms and photos of classrooms where they're saying they are maintaining 6 feet of distance, but actually it's about 4 feet.
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