Around 35 to 40 cars drove by the Killeen Independent School District administration building Tuesday evening, with the drivers honking their horns to protest the district’s plan to return to face-to-face learning on Sept. 8.
Rick Beaule, president of the Killeen Educators Association, the organization that planned the protest, said the event was held in large part because of the “boiling over frustrations of people who feel like their concerns about a safe return are not being heard.”
Protesters were encouraged to honk there horns starting at 6 p.m., the same time the Killeen school board meeting started inside the administration building.
Beaule said KEA wants to continue with virtual learning until there are 14 consecutive days of declining coronavirus cases or until the Bell County Health District says it is OK for students to return to campus.
Beaule said he was not sure if there will be future protests, but there could be if they are necessary.
“We want to make sure that we have a safe return to learning, so if that means we have to have more activities like this to make sure that the community is heard, then we will,” Beaule said.
Taina Maya, the spokeswoman for Killeen ISD, provided a statement via email on the protest.
“The district encourages all staff members to reach out and express their concerns with our Human Resources Department. We will continue to work towards solutions to ease the apprehensions of our KISD employees,” Maya said. “With things changing daily it is not uncommon for individuals to experience some amount of anxiety. Through KISD’s employee assistance program staff has free access to Unum’s EAP’s counseling up to three face-to-face visits per year and unlimited virtual visits. This service is there to help manage issues such as anxiety, stress and depression.”