Colorado teachers union cancels protest planned for March 19 at Capitol due to coronavirus concerns

Coronavirus

Colorado State Capitol in Denver, Colorado

DENVER (KDVR) — The union representing Colorado public school teachers said a protest planned for March 19 at the state Capitol has been canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus.

The Colorado Education Associated announced the decision Tuesday night.

As part of the CEA’s Day of Action, teachers planned to rally to raise awareness of teacher pay and school funding issues.

“Be assured this difficult decision was made out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety and welfare of our students, members and families,” said CEA President and high school counselor Amie Baca-Oehlert in a press release. “We closely monitored guidance from health officials at the federal and state level throughout this process. Though no official guidance was given to us to restrict public gatherings such as our Day of Action, we don’t want to contribute in any way to the anxiety people are experiencing during this troubling health crisis.”

Several large metro-area school districts had planned to close on March 19 due to the large number of expected absences.

On Wednesday afternoon, Jeffco Public Schools and Brighton 27J Schools said classes will be held on March 19. Other districts have not yet said whether they will do the same.

The CEA says more than 5,000 teachers were expected to attend the event at the Capitol.

“Despite our cancellation, lawmakers must feel urgency to take bold action during this session to keep quality educators in our classrooms and to ensure our students have the resources and supports they need to thrive,” said Baca-Oehlert. “Raising educator compensation across the state remains our top legislative priority. Our members will continue to visit the Capitol in smaller numbers every week during CEA Lobby Days to share our stories of the critical resources denied to our students, and the extreme difficulties educators have making a decent living in this state.”

The union said it will soon release details about a “virtual” Day of Action.

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