Knox County teacher’s union expresses COVID-19 concerns as students return to class

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County students return to virtual or in-person class on Tuesday after the winter break and amid recent spikes in confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The school district shared positive social media posts on Monday in anticipation of the start of the new semester.

The return to class is met with some pushback.

The president of the Knox County Education Association shared a letter with the WATE 6 On Your Side newsroom, saying the information in it was shared verbally with Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas.

The letter reads, in part:

“Recent COVID-19 data does not support in-person instruction. What happens inside schools is crucial, but it is socially and economically infeasible to operate in-person schools safely.”

Tonya Coats, president, Knox County Education Association, in Jan. 4 letter to Bob Thomas

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