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Buffalo Teacher's Federation back in court Friday

Both the teacher's union and Buffalo Public School district will present facts and testimony regarding the district's decision to reopen.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Teacher's Federation and the Buffalo Public School district will be back in court after a State Supreme Court Justice denied the request for a temporary restraining order to block the reopening of schools last week.  Now both the district and teacher's union will present facts and testimony to a judge regarding the district's decision to reopen for in-person instruction.

The head of the BTF, Phil Rumore, said teachers he talked to feel unsafe working in schools and questioned why all teaches needed to return to the classroom, even if they are teaching virtually.  

On the flip side, Buffalo Public Schools superintendent said there's drama and fear-mongering happening. Dr. Kriner Cash thinks that's why attendance was down about 20% at some schools that welcomed back students earlier this week.  

The BTF argues that schools are not clean or safe enough for students and teachers to be there while the district maintains that schools are safe.  District officials say upgraded filters are being installed to improve ventilation and the health department is always at the school.  Dr. Dennis Kuo is a pediatrician and the district's medical adviser.  He says, "we have the safety protocols including the distancing and the sanitation" and that "the risk of transmission in school is very, very low."

Last week BTF President Rumore said some health concerns had been addressed by the district; but, the teachers at each school and site did not get written assurances that the remaining issues will be addressed.

The case is set to go before the judge at 9:30 on Friday morning.