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COVID outbreak hits Sayreville athletics; education association members claim schools are not safe

Several Sayreville athletes from the same high school team have tested positive for COVID-19, yet the high school building remains open for instruction.

Some of the students are on hybrid or virtual instruction, but their practices are still held daily in the school, according to information provided by the Sayreville Education Association (SEA) via the New Jersey Education Association on Jan. 28.

While the SEA respects the privacy of student athletes, the broader concerns for schools and community health and safety must take precedence during a pandemic, according to the statement.

The district has been vague in its disclosure of COVID information to its staff making it difficult to keep themselves, their families, and the community safe, SEA members allege.

With new, more contagious and deadly strains of the virus appearing, SEA finds the district’s lack of transparency particularly troubling, according to the statement.

“At a time when schools across the state are trying to move students to fully in-person instruction, failing to close a school building with a significant outbreak in a student population creates an environment of distrust and skepticism,” SEA President Ken Veres said in the statement. “How can we expect our district to keep staff and students safe if they’re unwilling to share potentially life-threatening information?”

SEA members believe that being cautious now until more staff are vaccinated will give students the opportunity to come back to school safely and enjoy the milestones shut down by the pandemic last spring like graduation and move-up ceremonies, proms and dances, and field days and sport seasons, according to the statement.

“Keeping our students, staff, and community safe during this pandemic is our priority,” Veres said in the statement. “To accomplish this, we need transparency and cooperation from the district.”

Editor’s note: Administrators in the school district could not be reached by press time. This story will be updated as more information is received.

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