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J.O. Combs Unified School District Cancels 2 More Days Of Classes

The J.O. Combs Unified School District canceled another two days of classes after staff continue to resist a return to classrooms before state health officials recommend.

District officials made the announcement shortly before 5 p.m. 

“While we continue to work diligently on this matter, we also continue to receive high volume of staff absences,” official said in a statement.

The district was one of the first in the state to announce a return to in-person learning on Aug. 17. Teachers immediately decried the decision, noting the district has failed to meet all three benchmarks the state Health Department set to provide guidance on when it's safe to reopen classrooms.

On Friday, the district canceled all classes on Monday. Today's decision cancels classes through Wednesday.

The district’s governing board will meet Wednesday to discuss options for the school year.

A group of students and parents gathered to protest the closure of classes at J. O. Combs School District.

Classes were canceled when a number of teachers did not report for work, citing health and safety concerns.

The protesters gathered Monday in support of in-class learning and have been active on social media.

Teacher Dave Nelson said he supports the right of protesters, but the district was not adequately prepared.

He said he looks forward to the day when in-person classes resume.

“You know it’s put us in a really, really different position, and none of us wanted to hurt kids," Nelson said. "That was never anybody’s intention. It’s still not.”

Nelson said that many teachers fall into high-risk categories.

Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.