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FCPS employees upset over convocation event

Rupp arena.jpg
Posted at 8:30 PM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 07:03:49-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Fayette County schools are back in session on Wednesday. In preparation, thousands of district employees attended a convocation at Rupp Arena to get ready for the first day on Wednesday.

The jam-packed event raised COVID concerns for some faculty members.

"I didn't like it. Being in a situation like this pressed up against each other," said the anonymous district worker.

This employee echoed the concerns of dozens of other district workers that said they weren't comfortable attending a large-scale event at Rupp Arena so close to the beginning of school.

The event meant to "pump up" teachers and staff for the first day of school was mandatory for everyone to attend. But did not require masks.

"I have people that are elderly and high risk. I really and truly did not want to be here at all today," said the anonymous employee.

An earlier statement released weeks before the event by superintendent Demetrus Liggins reads in part:

"Celebration in the workplace is an important part of building a team, energizing staff, and creating a culture of enjoyment and recognition. Every convocation attendee will receive welcome packets that include masks and hand sanitizer."

"They said PPE would be offered, and it wasn't offered at the school, and it wasn't offered at the event," one employee refutes.

The latest stats from the CDC show an average of 191 cases a day reported in Fayette County.

That number is up 70% from two weeks ago.

This has led many to call an event like this irresponsible of the school district as they are just two days away from the start of the school year.

Beyond COVID concerns, a former employee also questioned the amount of money spent on the convocation.

She explained Facebook messages to LEX 18: "It is a huge amount of money. While many teachers do get into the revelry of the moment, the small benefit is not with the huge price."

To book the keynote speaker, according to allamericanspeakers.com could cost up to $10,000.

That's in addition to the cost of renting out Rupp Arena for a crowd of 6,000 to 8,000 attendees.

LEX 18 reached out to the school district for an updated statement and has not heard back.