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Texas teachers gather in Downtown Austin to rally against schools reopening

Many Texas teachers say it is unwise to return to campuses in the fall.

AUSTIN, Texas — Dozens of Texas teachers gathered in Downtown Austin on Saturday to rally against the Texas Education Agency's (TEA) plans for reopening schools this fall.

On Friday, the TEA issued new guidelines for the fall semester. The new guidance includes school systems being able to temporarily limit access to on-campus instruction for the first four weeks of school. School systems can continue to limit access to on-campus classes for an additional four weeks, if needed, with a board-approved waiver request to the TEA.

RELATED: Texans take on the fall school semester

Many teachers across the state have said it is unwise and unsafe to return to campuses at all until cases decline or until there is a better understanding of how to move forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Some of those teachers gathered in Downtown Austin to make their voices heard. The group caravaned around the Texas Capitol and TEA headquarters near 15th Street and Congress Avenue.

HAPPENING NOW: Texas teachers are rallying in Downtown Austin.

Posted by KVUE on Saturday, July 18, 2020

Many of the cars had shoe-painted messages or signs that made the participants' message clear, including, "I can teach from afar but not from a coffin" and "teachers are not expendable."

And it wasn't only teachers who were participating. Parents and students also took part in the demonstration, including a Hays County sixth-grader who told KVUE's Hannah Rucker she wouldn't feel safe returning to in-person classes. Other participants told Rucker it's just too soon to know what things will look like this school year.

As the rally was happening Saturday morning, there was a collision on Lavaca and 15th streets where a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper was struck by a vehicle and injured. At this time, it appears that the collision was accidental. The trooper was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries.

JUST IN: A state trooper was injured at the teachers' rally during a collision in Downtown Austin.

Posted by KVUE on Saturday, July 18, 2020

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