Back to School: How to Protect Yourself and Your Students This Fall


September 15, 2020

As a teacher, you’re responsible for the wellbeing of your students anytime they’re in the classroom. With COVID-19 cases increasing in schools, there’s always a chance that school districts are putting both your personal safety and the safety of your students at risk in the classroom. There’s no sign of the coronavirus fading this fall, so what can you do to protect yourself and your students as thoroughly as possible?

Enforce a Mask Rule
Almost all schools in Colorado are requiring students to wear masks, but that doesn’t mean they’re cracking down on the students that refuse. Take charge in your classroom and enforce your school’s rules whenever possible. Encourage them to wear their masks anytime they’re in your classroom. Start now and lead by example if at all possible. Wear your mask throughout the day, especially when students are present. The more they see you wearing your mask, the more likely it is that your students will wear theirs without complaint. 

Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize
Sanitizing your classroom multiple times each day is the best way to keep germs at bay. This isn’t just good for dealing with COVID-19. It’s also great at preventing the spread of influenza. Use your school’s approved cleaners to disinfect all frequently-touched surfaces. This includes doorknobs, desks, chairs, interactive learning tools, and shared supplies. If you run out of cleaners, let your janitor know so they can get you the supplies you need.

Pay Attention to Your Health

The health of your students is incredibly important, but you can’t keep them safe if you’re sick. Get in the habit of paying attention to how you’re feeling at all times. If you think you’re coming down with COVID, let your school administration know and discuss the next steps with them. If they prevent you from getting tested or try to dismiss your illness as insignificant, don’t wait. Speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. The sooner you get legal help, the easier it will be to make sure your needs are respected.

Explore Workers’ Compensation Options If Diagnosed
Depending on your situation, you could be able to claim workers’ compensation if you get sick with COVID-19. Once you have a diagnosis, let your school know that you’re interested in filing a claim. If they refuse or aren’t willing to help you through the claims process, speak with an attorney immediately. If your diagnosis can be tied to exposure through the school, you may have a case.

Don’t Hesitate to Get Help
The most important thing to remember is that the safety of your students and your health matter far more than test scores and academic performance. If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to explore your options, don’t wait. Schedule a free consultation with the legal team of Mark A. Simon. As an experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney, he’ll work to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve whether you’re teaching in an elementary school or are a tenured professor at an institution of higher learning. 

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