Some Queen Creek teachers resigning after district votes to head back to school Aug. 17

Tension continues to grow in the Queen Creek Unified School District over plans to begin in-person classes Monday, Aug. 17 as concerns over the coronavirus pandemic continue.

An online option for students who don’t want to return is being made available.

Maricopa County hasn't reached benchmarks set by the Arizona Department of Health Services for reopening schools, but some like, Queen Creek Unified School District, are moving forward anyhow as the board voted 4-1 to reopen in a Aug. 11 meeting.

Seven teachers have resigned since the board's vote, according to the district's public relations director.

"I want to go back to school. I haven't seen my friends or teachers in 159 days," said a 6th grader before the district board Tuesday night. He goes on to say, "My education is important. All I'm asking is a choice to go back to school."

Brad Charles, a biology teacher at Queen Creek High School turned in his resignation on Monday, saying, "I don't feel safe."

While officially, the district has had seven resignations in seven days, some teachers say the actual number is closer to 40.

Jacob Frantz heads up the Queen Creek Education Association and says, "Everyone is devastated that they're being put in this position where they have to choose between their safety and the calling of their life."

Kathy Hoffman, Superintendent of Public Instruction released a statement saying, "All schools should follow the Arizona Department of Health Services public health benchmarks to protect their communities from the consequences of COVID-19. Not following them is a disservice to the educators who continue providing instruction via distance learning and the families who are supporting distance learning. We are all making sacrifices for the health and safety of our school communities. If we work together, meeting the metrics for returning to in-person instruction is achievable. I urge every Arizonan to do their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19."

Not all teachers share the same sentiment on return to class

While some teachers have expressed their concerns, some other teachers say they feel perfectly safe and very excited to see their students in school once again.

“I’m super excited. It’s best for us to be back with them or we can see them and better help them," said Brian Duncan.

"I feel 100% safe. But I also respect the decisions of other parents who don’t want their kids to go back to school, and I will fight for their right to make that choice," said coach Joel Anderson.

For more on the district's response to the virus, visit