The Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico reported today his opposition to social workers and counselors working in person in schools of the public education system due to the pandemic.
“This would be in open violation of the most recent executive order that states that schools cannot be opened. Entities such as the UN World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Disposal recommend that schools not be opened until the epidemic is controlled ”, expressed in written statements the president of the union, Mercedes Martínez Padilla.
According to the union leader, the Department of Education requires social workers and counselors to work from the campuses.
“This measure is not reasonable when an alarming increase in COVID-19 infections is reported and these are jobs that can be done remotely,” added Martínez Padilla.
“The students served by this staff deserve excellent service without risking the health and lives of social workers, counselors, and children and their families,” he said.
Martínez Padilla pointed out that a Memorandum from the Secretary of Education, Eligio Hernández, states that social workers and counselors would serve as “assistants” to school directors, so the Federation recalled that “the functions of these positions are defined and does not include the discretion of the director to use them as assistants.”
“Any change in the protocols established in this period of pandemic for teachers, social workers, counselors and other teaching personnel must be discussed with the organizations that represent the teaching profession,” said Martínez Padilla.