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Buffalo Teachers Federation voices concerns over COVID cases

Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash (left) and Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore (right)
Eileen Buckley
Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash (left) and Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore (right) in this file photo.

In a memo sent Thursday to Buffalo Public School Superintendent Kriner Cash and Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein, Buffalo Teacher’s Federation President Phil Rumore voiced the federation's concerns over the positive COVID-19 numbers in the school district.

Currently, 560 students and 191 adults have tested positive over a three-month period ending Nov. 15.

While advocating for more stringent protocols, Rumore did not call for a return to remote learning and District Parent Coordinating Council President Dr. Wendy Mistretta said such a return would be a disservice to students who had to go through it last year.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

“I don't think at this point we have even fully dealt with a number of students that we lost in the last one,” she said. “So I'm really afraid that the students who are kind of just hanging in there that if we go into another remote (learning) we're going to lose more.”

Mistretta said the topic of family impact was discussed during Wednesday’s School Board meeting with many differing opinions being shared. She is on board with protocol recommendations offered by the BTF.

Also Thursday, the WNY Education Alliance released a statement calling on all school districts in the region to remain open.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.