Contact: Sherry Kast, Director of Communications
Office: 405-701-5990; Cell: 423-304-2317

Statement Issued by Ginger Tinney, Executive Director of Professional
Oklahoma Educators, in response to Oklahoma State Board
of Education Vote to Approve COVID-19 Alert System as Recommendations

NORMAN, OKLAHOMA (July 23, 2020) -- " Providing for the health and safety of teachers and school children is paramount. The State Board of Education voted today to adopt safety protocols with recommendations, not a mandate, for a COVID-19 alert system.

At POE,  our recommendation  regarding the reopening of schools in Oklahoma is to ' Postpone in-person opening of schools if substantial spread of COVID-19 is present in the community as determined by the school administration, school employees and the local community and health officials .'

With more than 500 school districts across Oklahoma, POE understands that every community looks different right now and so does the corresponding level of risk. A local decision is the most appropriate method to determine the best interest of everyone in the school district and the community. Many districts across the state may require a delay in opening or institute other protective measures including mandatory wearing of masks by employees and/or students. To help those districts with mask mandates, POE has purchased masks to distribute to our members.

POE will continue to work tirelessly to advise and assist educators with concerns about reopening schools, protecting their own personal health and the health of their students."