Suncoast teachers association express discontent for Governor’s decision on priority for vaccine

Teachers not given priority for COVID-19 vaccine

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -The debate on who gets the vaccine and when continues. There is no timeline yet on when teachers and school staff will have their shot at a shot across the Suncoast and state.

It’s leaving a lot of them frustrated especially after the governor announced this week that they should not expect to be prioritized for the vaccination, at least not for now.

“It’s extremely demoralizing and disappointing,” said President of the Manatee County Education Association, Pat Barber. “Put 65 and older ahead of the essential workers so teachers are now being forced back with full classrooms of students who have been we don’t know where over the Christmas break.”

School is back in session on Wednesday for Manatee County. Earlier this week 80% of students in Sarasota County went back to in person classes, 20% remote.

“These people are being told that they have to go in with kids that could be sick and adults that might be sick. And it seems to me you’re throwing them into the fire, give them some protection,” said the President of the Sarasota Classified Teachers Association, Patricia Gardner.

Protection they wish was a priority.

“They feel like they’re the forgotten group which is why we don’t have teachers anymore. They’re tired of being not treated like they should be or respected like they should be. And this is just one more example of that,” said Gardner.

She’s encouraged teachers to write to Tallahassee with their frustrations and hopes vaccines are coming soon for essential workers.

Copyright 2021 WWSB. All rights reserved.