Did you defy your teachers at school?

Uprising against Gebauer: Schools in Corona hotspots oppose orders to open - Dortmund announces school closings

DUSSELDORF. The criticism of the course of NRW School Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) is intensifying - for the first time in the Corona crisis, schools have apparently opposed their order to offer face-to-face lessons alternately. The city of Dortmund also announced today to the state government “that we intend to close the schools tomorrow. Now let's wait for the answer, ”as Mayor Thomas Westphal (SPD) announced. Gebauer had rejected the requests of several municipalities with high incidence values ​​to keep the secondary schools closed.

All schools in Dortmund are to be closed again from tomorrow, Wednesday. The city decided that without consulting the state government, reports the "Westfälische Anzeiger". Dortmund's Mayor Westphal announced according to the report: “We are of the firm conviction that at this moment there is absolutely no point in opening the schools. That is why we have an urgent appeal to the school minister to end the school opening hours and the ramp-up of classroom teaching immediately. ”In Dortmund, the incidence value rose to 72 by yesterday (three days ago it was 67). In almost half of all city districts, however, the seven-day incidence is already at or over 100 - in one case even over 150, as reported by the “Ruhrnachrichten”.

In view of this infection situation, school closings are the right decision from the point of view of the Dortmund mayor - and in view of the stop of the corona vaccinations with Astrazeneca, which affects many educators and primary school teachers. Westphal: "Politicians do not crack their crown when they react to developments, they are then responsible." With a view to the spread of corona mutations, Westphal explained that infections are not only faster but also more and more among young people People spread. Classroom operations in secondary schools in North Rhine-Westphalia only started again on Monday.

Meanwhile, it became known that schools in cities affected by high numbers of corona infections have been opposing the order of NRW School Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) to switch their operations back to face-to-face teaching - as before, they remain in distance teaching. This is reported by the "Rheinische Post". Several school administrators in Wermelskirchen and Wipperfürth have made appropriate decisions. A vocational college there teaches - as before - only the final classes in attendance. "The corona numbers in the Oberbergischer Kreis continue to rise, an exam class and a teacher were recently affected in our school," said the headmaster, according to the report. He does not want to risk any more cases and protect both teachers and students.

Düren is my hometown. The incidence value is 240. Nevertheless, the state government does not allow the district to close the school until Easter. Without any party politics: this is completely irresponsible, risks life, and leads our emergency brake at incidence 100 into the absurd https://t.co/nLTDHzx3pi

- Karl Lauterbach (@Karl_Lauterbach) March 13, 2021

The state government had previously prohibited the Oberbergischer Kreis from keeping its schools closed for classroom teaching - as in several other municipalities, including the Düren district (News4teachers reported in detail about it - here). There is currently no evidence that schools there are particularly responsible for the infection, according to the Ministry of Education. School closings or the restriction of school operations would only be considered as a last resort in fighting pandemics.

According to the data from the RKI on Friday, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days in the Düren district is 138.3. In the city of Düren, the value is currently around 240. According to the Düren district, around two thirds of new corona infections are due to the coronavirus variant first discovered in Great Britain, which is considered to be even more contagious.

Parents from North Rhine-Westphalia have also launched an online appeal to boycott school openings. An initiative is making a sample letter available online with which pupils are to be deregistered from classroom teaching. Motto: "NRW parents take the Corona emergency brake into their own hands". (News4teachers reports on the campaign - here.)

"There is a risk that infections will break out and be carried into families"

Criticism of Gebauer also comes from teachers' associations. The return of all pupils to the schools is "a risky maneuver, starting school under these conditions of an approaching third wave is wrong," said GEW state chairman Maike Finnern.School is important as a social place and for structures in everyday life. But the state government has not done its homework in view of the third wave. Starting with everyone again for 10 school days carries the risk of infections breaking out and being carried into the families. "

Gebauer crossed one threshold value after the next without authorization. "After the 50 as the incidence value for further openings had already fallen two weeks ago, the then established 100 as the mark for taking back opening steps is now falling again". Finnern emphasized: “It doesn't work that way and is the opposite of what I mean by reliability and planning.” If municipalities orient themselves towards this value and question the further openings, then they would be thwarted.

According to the "Rheinische Post", the state chairman of the philologists' association, Sabine Mistler, called for clear rules on how schools should proceed with which incidences. From their point of view, the benefits of the openings shortly before the Easter break bears no relation to the effort - until then, some age groups are only in school for two days.

"This is completely irresponsible, risks life, and leads our emergency brake at incidence 100 into the absurd"

The key figure for new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days has risen to 81.2 in NRW, as the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Monday. In the meantime, 14 independent cities and districts in North Rhine-Westphalia are above the 100 mark, including Cologne, a city of over a million. In their timetable for opening steps drawn up at the beginning of March, the country leaders also built in an emergency brake at a seven-day incidence of 100. From this value onwards, the strict rules are to be put back into force in a country or region from a certain time onwards were valid for March 7th.

The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach tweeted: “Düren is my hometown. The incidence value is 240. Nevertheless, the state government does not allow the district to close the school until Easter. Without any party politics: that is completely irresponsible, risks life, and leads our emergency brake at incidence 100 into the absurd. ”Heinz-Peter Meidinger, President of the German Teachers' Association, hit the same line. He found: "Federal states that even with regional incidences of more than 150 face-to-face classes and the additional health protection measures mentioned are acting irresponsibly." News4teachers / with material from the dpa

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