August is usually an exciting time to be an educator, as Teachers start decorating their classrooms and preparing for a new group of students.
This year, however, many teachers are experiencing a new set of emotions.
“My colleagues are fearful,” said Tanya Kitts-Lewinski, president of the Kenosha Education Association in Wisconsin.
Kitts-Lewinski says many teachers are fearful of returning to campus during the COVID-19 crisis. Now, she’s calling out the safety of teaching during this pandemic, even virtually, saying some schools are requiring teachers to teach online from inside a classroom.
“We can’t serve our students if we’re sick,” she said.
Now a local law firm is preparing for the worst by offering free wills to teachers returning to classrooms.
"People are very scared, and this is the one thing I can do to help this group, and I'm committed to doing as much as I can," said Jim Brzezinski, a partner at Tabak Law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Brzezinski came up with this idea after talking with his wife, who is also a teacher. After posting this service online, the response was overwhelming.
"Within 12 hours of opening up this to teachers, we got about 300 requests within the first 12 hours," he said.
We reached out to the Kenosha Unified School District, but they wouldn't talk on camera. Off camera, they said they plan on returning to school virtually, then reassessing the status of the pandemic and determining if and when it's safe to return to in-person learning.
"We frankly don't have enough educators to make our classrooms small enough to follow CDC guidelines," Kitts-Lewinski said, adding she won't feel safe returning to the classroom until the virus is fully contained.
"If we're not alive," she said. "We can't serve our students."