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ST. GEORGE — The president of the Washington County Education Association sent out an SOS on behalf of local educators at Tuesday's school board meeting. She took to the podium during her monthly report to say teachers in the district are suffering from serious burnout as duties and expectations for K-12 instructors pile up.
Amy Barton, a second-grade teacher, prefaced her address by saying she loves her job and truly enjoys representing fellow educators. She said she prefers to emphasize positive news at board meetings.
"But this month, I need to share some realities," she said. "Between the onerous and frankly odious bills being proposed by some of our Utah legislators, the pressures from special interest groups and the crushing daily challenges teachers are facing, I am worried."
She pointed out the standing-room-only crowd.
"I see a lot of interested and engaged community members here in the room today," Barton said. "We sure could use this level of involvement in our schools. We need playground supervisors. We need reading paraprofessionals. We need classroom volunteers. We're here in the room. But are we in schools?"
Barton went on to read excerpts from several messages the WCEA has received from teachers, emphasizing the frustration is ongoing.
"This isn't all year. This isn't last year. This is just from the last couple of months," she said.
The teachers quoted by Barton said being overworked and understaffed, with issues exacerbated by the pandemic, has brought them to a personal and professional crisis.
Read the full article at St. George News.