As COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in the Killeen school district following Christmas break — 920% between Saturday and Thursday — members of the Killeen Educators Association asked district leaders to make changes to protect students and staff.

As of Thursday morning, the Killeen Independent School District reported 204 active cases of COVID-19 among 133 students and 71 employees — an increase of 920% from Saturday’s record of 20 active cases.

KEA

Killeen Educators Association President Rachel Bourrage asked the Killeen ISD Board of Trustees Tuesday to reinstate a virtual learning option until the current omicron COVID-19 surge is over.

During a KISD school board meeting Tuesday, Killeen Educators Association president Rachel Bourrage implored board members to consider reinstating a mask mandate or a virtual option to get schools through the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

“The highly contagious omicron variant is sweeping across through our community,” Bourrage said. “Fear, apprehension, and work pressures are at unprecedented levels. Killeen Educators Association members believe the district should reinstate a virtual option for a six week period so we can make it through the current surge without large numbers of student and employee infections.”

According to KISD data, the majority of COVID-19 cases since Christmas break have been among elementary school employees and staff.

“High level of sickness is harming our students and employees; it is also harming the instructional programs,” Bourrage said. “A virtual option will reduce the crowding in our schools and get us through the current surge.”

Bourrage cited a KEA survey taken Jan. 5 in which 65% of respondents said they supported a virtual learning option similar to the one KISD implemented during the 2020-2021 school year.

“The fact that we are still open with no mask mandate and no virtual learning options is insanity,” one anonymous survey respondent wrote. “People’s lives are in danger especially with our children. We barely have functioning schools now with the number of people leaving, dying, retiring, and/or just needing sick or mental health days.”

According to the KEA survey, 79% of 187 KEA members said they wanted KISD to implement a mask mandate in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s mask mandate ban.

“Board of Trustees, we know morale is low, burnout is high, and employee retention is a big challenge,” Bourrage said. “It is not an exaggeration to say our educational system is under severe strain. We can all get through this COVID surge but more help is needed.”

KISD board members did not have COVID-19 on Tuesday’s agenda and therefore did not respond to Bourrage’s public forum comments. Per KISD board policy, board members are only allowed to comment on agenda items.

ldodd@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

ldodd@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(10) comments

dailymajor

Pureblood, so glad you are able to pat yourself on the back like you do. I'm sure you taught your kids all they need to know about grammar, composition, literature, Algebra, geometry, biology, physics, American and World history, probably a couple of foreign languages, business, speech, music, civics and other offerings plus extracurricula opportunities afforded students....Many parents are not capable for one reason or the other...time, number of children, teaching ability, work, family situations, etc. ... Since you are such a great,, great teacher, maybe you can teach the other forty thousand plus students in KISD and solve all the educational problems.

PUREBLOODResistTyranny

dailymajor, you are right, I should know better than to have a different opinion from you or be proud of MY children's accomplishments, or provide them with a Biblical education, or complain about where my taxes go. Only certain people are allowed to have opinions and thoughts on these things and apparently, I am not one of them.

dailymajor

Overseer, to which chapter of Mensa do you belong?...Your last paragraph was just silly as well as being ridiculous in every way, ..and you want people to take you seriously? Go sub for KISD. I'm sure you are very qualified and you can let everyone in the school business know how to do everything correctly.

dailymajor

Pureblood, if you think that you are such an expert on education, which, however, you are most assuredly not,... go volunteer to substitute in KISD. You couldn't and wouldn't do that, of course. You will just gripe and complain. You don't have a clue what "educators", the term that you and your bud used, are going through during this situation. ...If you think the vast majority of teachers like virtual teaching, you are out of your mind. ..You wouldn't dare step into a classroom.

PUREBLOODResistTyranny

Taxation is theft and why should people be taxed out of their homes to pay for a failing education system. You are right I would not step foot in a classroom as a teacher or a substitute or a volunteer. I homeschool my youngest daughter who is 16 and in 12th grade. and homeschooled my older children, who for your information are thriving successful adults, thank you very much. Every one of them scored above average on the placement test and the ASVAB. The grown children are out there living successful lives and I have always been told how well behaved they are compared to public school children. I may not be an "expert" on education but all of my children know how to think for themselves and know how to behave in public.

Why should taxpayers have to pay for all these new schools, devices, and other wasteful stuff? Yeah, I have every right to complain about where MY money goes and how it is spent. If I am forced to pay taxes why don't I have a right to determine where that money is spent?

PUREBLOODResistTyranny

And by the way, I never claimed to be an expert in education because I know I am not. I also never said I thought a vast majority of teachers like virtual teaching. I am not going to shut up just because I get insulted, just like everyone else I have an opinion, and I think that taxing people out of their homes to pay for an educational system that thinks it is okay to teach anything besides reading, writing and arithmetic is wrong. We pay all these property taxes to the county and have to have permission to do what we please with OUR property. I have every right to complain about where MY money goes.

overseer

KEA is at it again. Yes, I would agree that stress and tensions are high, but what can really be done about it. PEOPLE! Understand, this is a wave that must be ridden out. There is no hiding from it! There is no "masking" our way around it! The "vaccines" do not protect you from getting or spreading it! Closing schools will not help! Locking yourselves indoors will not help! This is nature's way of forcing "Herd Immunity"! No one is trying to get it, but no one can keep themselves from getting it if it is meant to be. The state and federal government need to make the monoclonals more available rather than JUST relying on the shot. Let's use every tool in our arsenal to fight for the good health of the people; instead, of using every political one to manipulate it. KEA, turn your attention to the Feds and demand from them. There is not much KISD can do.

Masks again, haVe been determined virtually useless once again, unless you are wearing a N or K 95 grade mask.

"Educators" getting reduced pay and taxpayers getting their tax monies back? I suspect that some people do take that thought seriously. I guess it would be so they can go shopping more and catch COVID?

kdhreader

The actual number of cases is way higher. KISD is only reporting those that get the PCR test which is now very difficult to obtain. Many of the staff and students are out because they tested positive with a home test or through one of the rapid test sites.

KISD themselves are offering rapid tests, yet they are not reporting positive cases their own tests are showing. A school may have 15 staff members out in a day due to covid but report zero on the dashboard because they didn't provide PCR test results, only rapid tests.

WSH

The district should have a mask requirement for students and staff AND the district should properly report/warn students and staff of exposure. KISD has created this mess and now they want the public to bail them out. We need a new board and a new super who care about health and safety.

PUREBLOODResistTyranny

"Educators" pay should be reduced and taxpayers should get their money back. Taxation is theft.

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