Foto Feature: Most Pelham teachers dress in Red for Ed to protest safety of hybrid model

Mark Finegan, Amy Lucas, Maribeth Albin, Kathryn Walker, John Plunkett, Brian Leighton and Stephen Magarelli in PMS gym shared by high school and middle school.
Tom Beck, Neil Schleifer, Katherine Murray, Kristin Cerreto and Timothy Pitrulle at Pelham Memorial High School.

Most Pelham teachers wore Red for Ed on the first day of school last week as well as on the first day of district-wide in-person teaching to protest the district’s hybrid learning model.

Teachers’ Association President Mark Finegan has said that students and staff are not ready for the in-person aspect, with many surrounding districts opting to begin the year online and phase in hybrid. Staff members have been denied medical leave after their doctors advised the school environment would be unsafe for them due to various illnesses and conditions, he said, and teachers are expected to put themselves at risk even in cases when students are barred from entering the schools because of a Covid-19 outbreak.

“If we’re in the middle of a once-in-an-every-hundred-years pandemic and we can’t make allowances for people who have serious illnesses,” he said in an interview Sept. 9, “we just wonder, ‘Where is the humanity in that?’”