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‘Teachers do not ‘skip’ school’

2/18/2021, 6 p.m.
Re: “Skipping school: Data show that 40% to 60% of Rich- mond area teachers are absent from the classroom 11 ...

Re: “Skipping school: Data show that 40% to 60% of Rich- mond area teachers are absent from the classroom 11 or more business days a year,” Free Press Jan. 28-30 edition:

As a retired Richmond schoolteacher, I felt blindsided by the bold headline “Skipping school.”

First of all, teachers are allowed one day per month for doctors, dental and other medical appointments for themselves and their children. A request for a personal day, to confer with a lawyer for example, can be denied by the principal. Also teachers do not go out for lunch or make long business phone calls.

Secondly, teachers are busy at night and on the weekends writing lesson plans in duplicate, grading papers, calling or texting parents—many of whom do not appreciate the call—gathering and paying for supplies. Teachers do not “skip” school; we prepare to educate all the students.

Next, I noticed that the article did not include any interviews with any of Richmond’s hard-working teachers who are striving to deliver education on all levels. The writer did not note the numbers of teachers who quit or transfer to other school districts away from the city of Richmond.

Surely, the writer has seen the comments of frustrated parents at home due to COVID-19 as they struggle to augment their children’s learning at home. Many of these parents wish for schools to open and for teachers to teach their children once again.

Richmond’s teachers are due an apology for this one-sided story.

ROSEMARY GASKIN MORTON

Chesterfield