Idaho Education Association announces Health and Safety Hotline for educators

Posted at 12:54 PM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 14:55:01-04

The Idaho Education Association (IEA) has launched a Health and Safety Report hotline to help ensure safe and healthy schools. Idaho educators will be able to anonymously report situations and activities that put the health of educators and students at risk.

A news release from the IEA says the following are situations that can be reported:

  • Violations of safety protocols related to:
    • Inability to achieve physical distancing
    • Lack of proper cleaning/disinfecting supplies
    • Violations of mask mandates
  • Lack of transparency from districts in reporting positive cases
  • Lack of fidelity in informing educators and parents about cases, testing, and tracking
  • Discouragement of coronavirus-exposed students and staff from getting tested
  • Discouragement of sending sick students home
  • COVID-19 positive students and staff being told to attend school in-person
  • Insufficient nursing and medical support

“Since school buildings reopened, we have heard reports from educators in many areas of the state about breakdowns in safety protocols and COVID-19 transparency,” says IEA President Layne McInelly. “Many of them are requesting anonymity because of concerns about retribution. The Health and Safety Report Hotline gives them a chance to report freely and will give us a more accurate picture of what is actually happening in Idaho schools.”

Once collected, the data and concerns will be shared, when appropriate, with public education decision-makers. The phone number for the hotline has been distributed to members of the IEA and is not for the general public, according to the IEA Communications Director.

“We hope this hotline will help create an environment for informed decision-making that will protect Idaho students and educators,” says McInelly.