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ATHE Urges Faculty/Staff/Student Choice for Teaching/Learning Options During Pandemic

Tuesday, August 4, 2020  
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In an email on August 5, ATHE President Josh Abrams issued the following statement.

The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) is pleased to share this recommendation from the ATHE COVID-19 Recommendation Task force regarding the teaching of theatre and performance studio classes We wish to emphasise as an organization that it is the utmost priority that institutions allow for faculty, staff, and student choice during this pandemic without fear of reprisal or the threat of job loss. It is urgent that institutions consider the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and Brown communities in their decision-making processes. At the current moment, we recognize that online modalities for teaching theatre and performance are the safest possible solution, until such time as more rigorous processes of testing and response are widespread, until a vaccine or cure is available, or until there is more robust community immunity. We recommend that where local conditions allow institutions to make the choice to return, at least in part, to a range of in-person physical teaching, robust and enforceable risk assessment practices, in line with the CDC Hierarchy of Controls, including social distancing, hand washing, and proper PPE guidance are provided and that faculty, staff, and students be able to opt out of in-person contact.

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