Despite the fact that the school has encouraged all students to take the COVID-19 vaccine, and decided to follow the Georgia University System’s guidance on mask recommendations in indoor spaces, two professors at the University of North Georgia have resigned in protest.
They said the school is not doing enough to protect their health during the recent uptick of cases of the virus.
“University of North Georgia lecturers Cornelia Lambert and Lorraine Buchbinder were scheduled to begin teaching Monday, the first day of the fall semester, on the school’s Gainesville campus,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Both lecturers were scheduled to teach five courses during the current semester.
“I just began to feel (in-person teaching) was inconsistent with my values as a scholar and as a teacher,” Lambert, who taught a course on the history of infectious diseases, said.
She announced her resignation on Twitter.
“I feel like the Board of Regents was asking me to choose between my health, my family’s health and my job,” Buchbinder said.
But the school disagrees.
“UNG has worked closely with the Georgia Department of Public Health and University System of Georgia to prioritize the health and safety of our campus communities and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact,” Dr. James Conneely, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, said. “Now, I ask everyone to continue to follow those practices to have a successful fall experience.”
Conneely also encouraged students to get vaccinated.
“According to medical experts, the best defense against the virus and best path to end the pandemic is getting more people vaccinated,” he said. “I urge our students who have not been vaccinated to consider this matter carefully and consult with appropriate medical personnel to make an informed decision.”
Meanwhile, some healthcare professionals in the state are taking the exact opposite approach.
Last week, around 150 Wellstar health care employees in Marietta protested the company’s decision to force them to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Some nurses who worked through the pandemic when a vaccine was unavailable are now feeling left behind.
“When COVID became bad, I was there five times a week, pulling extra shifts, taking care of COVID patients, I know this disease is horrible, I’m on the front line, and I know it still is a threat, but guess what, the vaccines are not working,” Wellstar nurse Renee Erbe said.
Gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones, a Democrat-turned-Republican, attended the protest with the health care staff.
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