LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA) wrote to Governor Pete Ricketts on Tuesday asking him to take necessary steps to provide adequate funding for PPE for students and staff in the upcoming school year.
"Trying to open schools without adequately protecting students and staff from COVID-19 will backfire. It is putting livelihoods before lives. Platitudes and requests for compliance won’t keep our students safe," said NSEA in the letter.
Additionally, the NSEA mentioned they are in complete agreement with the American Academy of Pediatrics that children older than 2 should wear masks in schools unless it worsens physical/mental health conditions.
The NSEA said that the governor's unwillingness to issue mask mandates or support the science of the mandate is "irresponsible and a dereliction of duty."
The association asked Gov. Ricketts to "do his part," suggesting the following actions:
- Children and teachers need you to strongly support mask requirements when local health or school boards deem them appropriate.
- We need you to provide funding for necessary PPE materials for students and school staff.
- Children, families and school staff need you to ensure free and rapid testing is made available immediately upon discovery of a COVID-19 infection in a classroom.
- We need you to strongly support a school district’s decision to suspend contact sports and other extracurricular activities based on risk assessments.
- We need you to base such decisions on recommendations from health experts.