Spelman College Faculty Refuse to Teach In-Person Classes Over COVID-19 Concerns

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Spelman College professors will not teach in person this semester unless the school enacts better COVID-19 safety guidelines, the faculty council told students in an email Thursday morning.

The announcement came a day after classes began at the historically Black women’s institution. Spelman faculty, staff, and students are currently required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear a mask indoors and outdoors.

In the email, the 11-member council states professors “have not received clear and enforceable protocol and safety measures for teaching face-to-face” and that most plan to use alternative teaching methods until leadership provides an acceptable response to their concerns.

Spelman responded Thursday afternoon by posting a 22-page document with expanded COVID-19 safety protocols online; however, it does not say how the college plans to enforce mask and vaccine guidelines.

As the fall semester begins, colleges and universities have become embroiled in the debate over COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates. Earlier this week, a tenured professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville resigned in protest of what he alleged is a lack of appropriate safety policies. Meanwhile, the University of Virginia disenrolled more than 240 students for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.