Principals union says educators risk health by distributing Chromebooks to district students

Mike DeNardo
March 31, 2020 - 5:47 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The School District of Philadelphia wants principals to distribute Chromebooks to students next week so they can start learning from home, but the educators are concerned their health may be at risk.

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Robin Cooper, head of the Teamsters Local 502 of the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators, said union members are trying to follow the governor's order to stay home, but she said the district is putting principals in a difficult position by having them oversee the distribution of Chromebooks. 

Students are getting the computers so they can learn online from home during the indefinite school closure, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

“I just don't think they should be put in a situation that is not life-sustaining,” Cooper said. “They're not going to save lives. They're going to give out computers.”

Cooper said students should have the Chromebooks, but she's concerned about having her members out facing parents and volunteers. 

In a statement, the district said the Chromebook distribution is voluntary, and it hasn't mandated that any staff take part. The district said gloves and masks are being provided, and when possible, it's prepared to have parents drive up to pick up the Chromebook to reduce personal contact.