With 200,000 face masks stockpiled and 600 air purifiers heading to schools, Pittsfield school officials indicated Wednesday that they are ready to bring more students and staff back to classrooms.

The Berkshire Eagle reports however that their confidence is meeting with doubt from the public. During a virtual meeting of the Pittsfield School Committee, teachers and residents expressed that they aren’t convinced the city’s schools can safely accommodate a full return to classrooms.

In remarks to a virtual meeting of the Pittsfield School Committee, teachers and residents made it clear that they aren’t convinced the city’s schools can safely accommodate a full return.

Teachers, in particular, object to the committee’s push to have all students back in school in late February, a move that their union, United Educators of Pittsfield, says violates an agreement reached with the city that governs a return to in-person instruction. The union filed an unfair labor practice complaint Tuesday seeking to overturn a decision the committee made to return to in-person learning.

After hearing 30 minutes of public comments on the reopening plan, William Cameron, a committee member, said important issues had been raised.

One parent of a Pittsfield High School student, was among several who questioned how educators could be planning a reopening while unwilling to hold their own meetings in public.

A father of a Pittsfield High student called on the union and administrators to put aside differences and

“rise up to the challenge that we face".

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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