On the front page of The Record-Review's Dec. 11 issue, Bedford Central School District’s increased COVID-19 cases were addressed in part. Those of us in the high school often see deserted hallways. On any given day dozens of teachers and staff are out and substitutes are essential.

I’ve been sent home and quarantined twice, that is 28 days. As a substitute that means no pay, no health care, no protections. I know we choose to work in the school, but we do so with the understanding it will be as safe as possible. We don’t do it in anticipation of catching a deadly disease and we don’t select our assignments.

If the school puts us in harm’s way, through no fault of our own, if the school’s protocols continue seeing more cases, protocols should be changed, or schools should be closed. Those impacted by decisions made by others should be compensated for forced time off and increased risk.

Teachers and staff are deeply concerned about their health. The district needs to address these concerns as it considers how it meets the needs of parents and most importantly students. Right now, many feel compromised and treated less than fairly.

Those of us sent home will soon know if we are infected.  If we are, even more people will be forced into quarantine and the school will move closer to virtual schooling as the only option. Better to be proactive than reactive and put more people at risk.

Robert Kesten

South Salem

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