As many schools return to in-person classes even as coronavirus cases are mounting nationwide, school bus drivers, cafeteria workers and janitors are left in an impossible bind: worried about being exposed to COVID-19 but also terrified they’ll lose their jobs if schools stay shut.
“We’re back at work. We don’t get the choice of virtual or brick-and-mortar. We’re behind the wheel, five days a week,” said Rhonda Miller, 54, a school bus driver in Florida’s Palm Beach County.
“How can you social distance on a bus? It’s impossible,” Miller said.
States and school districts have had a piecemeal response to the pandemic, with some deciding to return fully in person, others continuing classes virtually and still others doing a combination of both. Many schools, including in New York, Florida and Texas, have opened up only to have to shut again as virus cases have cropped up among students