CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- Parents and teachers in two school districts protested very different things Monday night.
Before the public addressed the Board of Trustees during the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Board Meeting, dozens of people protested outside. They held signs that read, "Too soon" and "Don't kill my mom," and stood next to tombstones and grim decorations. One teacher dressed up as the Grim Reaper.
They believe it's not safe yet to return to school buildings.
Teachers are supposed to report Friday for a professional development workshop, with in-person instruction to start on September 8.
"I'll be 65 in 3 months and I'm just not ready," said a special education teacher who did not want to share her name. "I live in a 55 and up (community) and most everybody there is over 70, so me going to school, and bringing it back to the community, is not cool. So I'm scared."
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"There are better ways to go about this that better protects the staff and that matters. Period," parent Tara Cummings told ABC13. "We can't educate students if our staff is at risk. When they're all calling in sick, when we can't get subs to fill because who's going to sign up to sub right now?"
Outside the Clear Creek ISD board meeting, a group of parents held signs in support of returning to school and sooner. Currently, all students will begin the school year online on August 24. A phased-in return to campus will follow.
"We're concerned once we get into September, they're going to delay us even more. Our concerns are those who want brick-and-mortar are not getting brick-and-mortar, and they're not listening to the parents," said parent DeAnna Scott who wants her special needs son to learn in person.
Members of Cy-Fair ISD's board of trustees talked about their difficult decisions Monday night.
"There are no good answers. We will follow the law," said Tom Jackson.
"The people who hold office are putting all districts in this position," said Dr. John Ogletree. "We've gone from our seniors to being expendable to wondering if our children are expendable."
According to the district, 34% of the 118,000 students have chosen to return to campus over remote learning. Thousands of parents have not sent in their decisions. Health and safety protocols will be implemented, officials say.
The board heard from 21 people during public comments. All were against the current re-opening plan.
"I'm a single parent. Who is going to take care of my kids if something happens to me?" one teacher asked the board.
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