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twin2 twin2 is offline
 
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What would you do?
Old 11-11-2020, 07:50 PM
 
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A teacher is not complying with the face mask policy at school. She may not understand the policy, or perhaps I am wrong. We were told everyone must wear a mask. She sits behind a clear shield that is on her desk, but there is a student that sits about six feet to her left, unprotected. The only time she wears a mask is when she is up walking around her classroom.

When we were first told everyone must wear a mask, there was some flexibility since masks do muffle a teachers voice and sometimes students need to see the teacher's lips move due to the nature of the learning. This teacher teaches math so it's not like she's teaching letter sounds. Also those teachers who needed to take masks off were instructed to use a clear mask or face shield temporarily until they could put their regular mask back on. This teacher has not done that. Now she is wearing a mask less than before.

Our community positivity rate is going up and students throughout the system are starting to test positive. I'm acting out of fear, not meanness. My choices are a)ignore it, b) report to the union, or c)go to admin for a private conversation. What would you do? I can't keep ignoring this.


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Old 11-11-2020, 07:56 PM
 
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How about approaching the union rep and asking what they think you should do?
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Old 11-11-2020, 07:59 PM
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:06 PM
 
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I think the union rep may be your safest bet right now. I know it's super awkward, but I think the right thing to do would be to approach the teacher directly and at least give her a chance before going to admin.

We had the same sort of situation going on in one of our classrooms. We have a self-contained program with a teacher and several paras. They were mostly wearing masks when kids were there, but any time without kids (before/after school, PD days, work days, etc.) there were numerous adults in a pretty tiny room all together not wearing masks. They'd pull them down to talk .

I teach mild/moderate and really have nothing to do with this room, so I was never in there, but some of my related service provider teammates (SLP, OT, etc.) saw it. They tried to sort of casually approach it with the teacher, who told them this would all be over after the election. Yep, another big eye roll.

They're both super non-confrontational so they didn't say anything. Until one of them got Covid. She didn't get it from school, but I think just having it made her feel much more seriously about what was going on in this other room. So when she was emailing P back and forth about her diagnosis, she said she felt like a snitch, but needed to say that she was concerned about what was going on in x classroom. The thing is, we're now remote and who knows for how long, so by the time we come back it may be all forgotten, but P said she would address it...

Another option, and probably what I would do because I'm a total chicken, is to take the passive aggressive route. Not the most honorable choice, but probably what I'd fall back on. "P, I didn't know we were allowed to take masks off if we're not moving around the classroom?" Then P says, "we aren't," and you say, "Oh, I've seen that happen so I wondered if policy has changed." And then P asks where you've seen that happen, etc.
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:20 PM
 
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I'm in the ignore group. You aren't her supervisor. Leave it for her supervisor to notice and point out. If you feel uncomfortable, don't go into her room/talk to her when her mask isn't on.
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:22 AM
 
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What about approaching her? As you said, maybe she really doesn't get it or realize what she's doing that is non complaint. Maybe even start a conversation to discuss the district/school policy and say you're wondering if you understand it, since there have been changes. See what she says.
I'm not in favor of going above until you start with the teacher first. It's like parents going to the principal before talking to the teacher about issues first.


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My Thought...
Old 11-12-2020, 03:34 AM
 
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I would type a note and put it in her mailbox to remind those adults in her room of the rules.

No need to sign it.

If things don't change, then it is time to approach your union rep or an administrator.
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:30 AM
 
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I think you should talk to her. Don't slip anonymous notes in her box or go behind her back.

You could approach the subject as a question because you interpret the policy differently than you are seeing in her room. Do it kindly and in a non-judgemental way. Who knows, there may be a valid reason you are not aware of.

Also, I know that policy says if you can't mask to wear a shield, but be careful with your argument that math teachers don't need their lips showing because they are not teaching letters. There are many reasons kids need to see lips even when not learning letter sounds. Kids with allergies can often have temporary limited hearing when they have allergy congestion in their ears. They need to see lips. They will miss part of what is being said and will often look to the face and lips to figure out what is going on.

And really, when it comes to plexiglass that only goes up a few feet, it will only stop large droplets from hitting someone. It won't even stop it very well if the plexiglass is 4-6 feet away. It really is one of those "feel good" measures that most likely doesn't do much to stop transmission because most transmission is from microscopic droplets in the air.
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:03 AM
 
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Why is this your problem/business?
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:21 AM
 
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I am the most non-confrontational person in the world, but...

-I try to get through life by addressing problems privately, directly and tactfully with the person involved before involving others (especially administrators or the union). Linda's ideas of how to approach her are great. The conversation shouldn't have an accusatory tone. Depending on her response, you might have to report to the principal as a second step.

-Are you actually in the classroom seeing this behavior, or is it hearsay? If I was in the classroom and was seeing it directly, I would talk to her today. If I hadn't seen this directly, I would let it go.

-I would not send a note, especially anonymous. A direct conversation is how I try to address conflict, and preserve relationships, however uncomfortable that may be.
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:26 AM
 
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javamomma-
It is her business because this is a pandemic and everyones health and safety is important.

I had this issue at school. One of our PITA teachers refuses to wear the mask over her nose. #1 she is modeling the defiant behavior to students whom we need the most to be wearing the masks correctly and #2 when those students come into my library they are wiping, touching their noses then touching my books and keyboards.

I complained. She apparently was spoken to, but still does it. I complained to union. They said they can't do anything about teacher on teacher complaint. It has to be handled by the admin.

Why do I care? Because I dont want to be sick and end up in the hospital. I have done everything I can for myself to stay safe. Having to depend on others is difficult when they don't care.


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Old 11-12-2020, 05:47 AM
 
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We have people in our schools who wonít wear masks correctly or social distance. One particular culprit is our superintendent. The district sent out reminders in August about wearing a mask when indoors and in shared spaces. Those that hate masks claim that our hallways are not shared spaces and they donít have to wear a mask when moving from one building or room to another. The mask wearers disagree.

Itís a huge battle at my site. I inform the principal when otherís complain to me, but she doesnít seem to do much about it.

When the superintendent doesnít follow the rules, the rest of us are doomed.

Administration should address your issue. File a grievance if itís not resolved.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:11 AM
 
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I know it is hard. Most teachers are rule followers, and it sticks with you when you see/know that one isn't adhering. Covid has us all on edge and for good reason. I don't know your background or if you have pre-existing conditions that make you more vunerable.
I hate confrontation, so I wouldn't say anything. I would be more likely to walk into her room with a can of lysol and start spraying, and say I had to because you refuse to comply with the mask mandate.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:30 AM
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Why is this your problem/business?
Ignore
It is her problem because people who ignore the mask guidelines, mandates, & policies and governments/organizations that refuse to institute science-based mask policies are the same people who have kept us in this situation for this long in the first place. It's not only twin2's problem, it's all of our problem.

It is her problem because ignoring mask policies (or refusing to institute them) is the behavior that is putting her students at risk, which puts all the people they come in contact with at risk.

Quote:
I'm acting out of fear, not meanness. My choices are a)ignore it, b) report to the union, or c)go to admin for a private conversation. What would you do? I can't keep ignoring this.
Twin2, don't buy the lie that adhering to mask policies is a fear-based response. It is a logical, compassionate, and generous response. You absolutely need to do something about it. Whether that is talking to the teacher or the union depends on how reasonable a human being this other teacher is. A friend had his shopping cart overturned when he asked someone to please pull up their mask or back away from him. Irrational, abusive covid deniers are out there, but only you know whether she is one or not.

If she is irrational, I would report it to whoever I felt was most sympathetic to the mask issue, union or admin.

ETA:
Quote:
javamomma-
It is her business because this is a pandemic and everyones health and safety is important.

I had this issue at school. One of our PITA teachers refuses to wear the mask over her nose. #1 she is modeling the defiant behavior to students whom we need the most to be wearing the masks correctly and #2 when those students come into my library they are wiping, touching their noses then touching my books and keyboards.

...

Why do I care? Because I dont want to be sick and end up in the hospital. I have done everything I can for myself to stay safe. Having to depend on others is difficult when they don't care.
FLteachESE said it nicer than I did, but I stand by assertion that anti-maskers are the reason we are where we are today.

Last edited by Gromit; 11-12-2020 at 09:55 AM.. Reason: change wording to be less strident
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:59 AM
 
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This matters to me because I work in this classroom for two hours a day. I also have the responsibility for making sure students are mask compliant. Some of these students come in contact with grandparents or sickly relatives. Some of them don't have access to adequate healthcare. When I signal them to pull up their masks, some point at her and I have to respond professionally. I also don't wish to get sick. I am a non-confrontational person so I guess that's why this is so hard for me. I don't feel comfortable bringing this up with this teacher, and if I went to the principal I wouldn't name names. It would be more of a "please clarify the policy to staff because some of us aren't sure" kind of conversation. The union provided a link for us to report non-compliance but I don't think that's fair to our administrators who are working so hard to keep us safe. I don't want anyone reprimanded. I just want them to follow the rules. Covid is real and I can't afford to get sick.
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Ugh
Old 11-12-2020, 10:41 AM
 
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To the people who said ignore it, I disagree. There is a deadly disease ravaging the citizenry of our country. There is no reason why someone should be allowed to blatantly disregard safety measures and put others at risk.

I would talk to your union rep.

Last edited by travelingfar; 11-12-2020 at 01:24 PM..
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Why is this your problem/business?
Ignore
This is most definitely the business of every teacher and student in the building. I've NEVER endorsed going above a staff member and "tattling" and always considered that I wasn't an administrator so what other staff members do wasn't my business. This time it matters. Students and staff need to be protected to limit the spread so everyone needs to mask up.

If school is to remain open the virus must be controlled. No one should threaten the health and education of those in their building by failing to wear a mask.

If the teacher fails fo correct his/her behavior admin needs to know about it.
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I too an very nonconfrontational
Old 11-12-2020, 12:17 PM
 
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Could you say, "I just have to be honest. I don't feel comfortable in your room, due to you not wearing a mask"
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:23 PM
 
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Thanks for helping me sort this out in my mind. I haven't said anything to anyone at school today about this. Our governor is having another press conference, and he has painted a bleak picture of how serious this pandemic is. Maybe that will open the door to a friendly conversation with the team or just that teacher in the morning.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:25 PM
 
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Start by talking with the teacher. Be prepared for her to be defensive, although I hope not for your sake. If things don't change go to administration and/or the union. This is serious business.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:58 PM
 
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I like the anonymous note idea and/or asking your union rep. I totally agree with you. This is serious and what she is doing is irresponsible and unacceptable.

Nancy
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Old 11-12-2020, 02:54 PM
 
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I agree that this is not your concern unless you're in the same room with her and less than 6 feet away. The info that comes out daily about masks/distances changes so much but the general rule is if less than 6 feet apart, wear a mask. She's more than that and behind a shield. She masks up when she's not so she's compliant. But, I guess it also depends on the state you're in. Still, not your business unless it effects you directly. Why can't you keep ignoring this?
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:00 PM
 
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Quote:
. The info that comes out daily about masks/distances changes so much but the general rule is if less than 6 feet apart, wear a mask.
No, it doesn’t if you pay attention to actual scientists and not government officials and YouTube stars.

They have been very clear that viral loading the air is a very real risk and the way to mitigate that is to wear a mask, increase ventilation, and allow time between cohorts for the air to settle. It doesn’t matter if you are 6’ apart or not if you are sharing an enclosed space for an extended period

She has also already said that she shares a room with this person, but regardless this isn’t a teacher who gives worksheets instead of admin required PBL. This is a teacher who is putting students and staff and families at risk. I would speak up if a teacher were sending her kids out to recess unsupervised, and this is the same category.
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:31 PM
 
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She said she has to work in the womanís classroom so it does affect her. She also had some health concerns that make her more vulnerable.
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:38 PM
 
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I would rat her out so fast it would make your head spin.
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:51 PM
 
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Haha MalloryJames that would get to the bottom of things!
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:40 PM
 
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I'm amazed that some are not bothered by this teacher's behavior. What part about a deadly disease that is in its worst phase do people not understand?

Last edited by travelingfar; 11-13-2020 at 04:35 AM..
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:32 PM
 
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Iím extremely non confrontational but have already had to say, ďPlease social distanceĒ to someone not maintaining their space. It took me great strength to say it and thereís been several times Iíve just ignored people that have been almost on top of me.

One of my friends died in late March from Covid. Right now I know several people with it or that have close family members with it. One of my friends has long lasting symptoms of it. This is not something that just goes away. Between yesterday and today my county has had 1113 new Covid cases. Before the norm was anywhere from 46 to 150. This is not something we can just ignore.

You are in her room for two hours a day. This is not something that you should have to worry about. The children need to be protected.

You havenít mentioned if youíve seen this once or many times. Was it one day? If it was one day I would probably try to mention it to her. If itís been an ongoing situation I would report it. This is a life-and-death matter.
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:05 AM
 
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This is a daily occurrence and getting worse. Numbers had been kind of low here but now they are going up again. It's not time to ignore health protocols. Otherwise she does well keeping kids distanced, making them use hand sanitizer and having them clean their desks.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:45 AM
 
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I am sick and tired of any human being who refuses common sense and decency during a global pandemic.
None of our business? Not your problem? We are educated individuals who are supposed to set an example! Forgive me, but I am beyond thankful my own children are grown and donít have to walk into a classroom with someone who chooses to make the absolutely wrong choice! If I were a colleague, youíre darn right I would be speaking up as loudly as I could! Not only for my sake, but for my other colleagues, the students, the other staff members... seriously?!? I am beyond angry about this!
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:03 PM
 
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I'm sorry I misread the post. I guess I was like so many others on PT, that don't always thoroughly read the post. In your case, I would have a conversation with her if she can have a civil one, admin or if you're in a union. She probably thinks she is being compliant because she's behind the screen then masks up when she gets up. I don't understand that thinking.
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Old 11-15-2020, 01:29 AM
 
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Violet2 I'm not upset with anyone who responded to this post. We all have opinions and I'm sure I've misunderstood or not thoroughly read posts before I responded too.
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Update: What would you do?
Old 11-15-2020, 07:13 PM
 
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Our school system announced this evening that our schools are closed through 12/07 so the noncompliant teacher/mask problem went away for now. Thanks everyone for discussing this sensitive issue. I'm not upset with anyone who felt differently than I do. The topic was wide open for discussion so that was to be expected.
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