State superintendent asks for ‘screaming’ at school nurses and staff to stop

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 7:59 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 7:23 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State education leaders have seen many of the tense exchanges at school board meetings, and say even more are happening behind closed doors.

They say it’s been an incredibly hard 18 months for schools and they hope for a little more grace.

The debate at school board meetings over topics like in-school instruction, vaccines or masks has reached a fever pitch and state superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey says some incidents have crossed the line.

“I get calls every day, and I know my colleagues in public health are too, you know people screaming at school nurses, screaming at their principals, we’ve had some of our employees have to have police protection now,” said Mackey.

He says this year is extremely challenging.

“It’s still getting more difficult by the day,” said Mackey.

This past week, Dr. Mackey announced more than 9,000 new student cases of COVID.

As a result, most schools have enacted mask mandates.

“The vast majority of our students are in schools where masks are required, we are still getting pushback from parents, folks who are out there listening that disagree with that I would just say please be patient, please be patient with your local school folks, they are doing the best they can in a difficult situation,” he said.

He says schools will continue offering vaccinations to those who are eligible.

“We are still really, really pushing for vaccinations, I have also gotten a lot of hate email over that,” he added.

He estimates approximately 90 percent of schools are now requiring masks in Alabama.

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