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Superintendent Spearman addresses teachers ahead of the school year

Teachers from around the state asked questions about safety, class sizes and virtual/in-person teaching ahead of the school year.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman addressed teachers around the Palmetto State ahead of the 2020-2021 school year.

The remarks came during a telephone "town hall" on Thursday hosted by the Palmetto State Teachers Association and the South Carolina Education Association.

Expressing support throughout, Spearman addressed concerns of the nearly nearly 3,000 teachers and educators on the line.

"We're all pulling for you and praying that things go safely," Spearman said. "There's no way that we can guarantee 100 percent safety, but as I said to some folks today, we are going to get it as close to 100 percent as possible."

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One by one, teachers were able ask questions about class sizes, teaching both virtually and in person, and safety measures.

"I hear a lot of anxiety in your questions and obviously some of you don't feel comfortable going back to school," Spearman said in response to their questions. "I'd say this, our students really need you, we need you and I want to do everything that we can to help build your confidence."

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One thing that she stressed is that students, faculty and staff will all be required to wear face masks both on school buses and in school facilities.

"We don't want children getting expelled for not wearing a mask but it needs to be handled in a gentle way. But if a family chooses not to participate in wearing masks, then in my opinion there is another option," Spearman said. "As one superintendent said, coming to school is a real privilege and we don't take this very lightly at all. We expect students and staff members to abide by the policies."

The South Carolina Department of Education has approved all of the re-opening plans for the school districts around the state.

A look at all of the re-opening plans can be found here.