BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The East Baton Rouge Parish Association of Educators says it’s time for teachers to take action after more schools shut down due to COVID-19.

‘We are asking our teachers to take off tomorrow,” said Valencea Johnson, President of East Baton Rouge Parish Association of Educators. “Today we are demanding the East Baton Rouge School System implement virtual learning for all students.”

The East Baton Rouge Parish Association of Educators (EBRPAE) and Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) are demanding the district to provide more COVID-19 sick days for students and staff. Johnson said staffing shortages during the Omicron surge are putting more pressure on everyone.

“We cannot continue to do this. Our staff is experiencing burnout and our students are not getting the education they need and deserve,” she said.

East Baton Rouge Superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse said a sick-out is not the best option for students.  

“I don’t think this is the best time to not be in school. To help support our families and our students, it’s important for us to stay in school,” he said.

The union is pleading for more COVID-19 precautions like daily or weekly testing. They said the parish can bring back in-person learning when positivity rates decrease.

“There are parents who reached out to us and informed us and let us know they are uncomfortable. Because their child or children are going to school where there are high levels of cases,” said Dr. Tia Mills, President of Louisiana Association of Educators.

Parents can still choose to enroll their child in the district’s virtual school.  

EBRPAE hosts press conference Tuesday, watch the full video below: