Last month, Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth (CTY)—a summer youth development program—suddenly canceled classes for hundreds of students across the country, Fern Shen reports for the Baltimore Brew. While leaders attributed the cancellation to the “national labor shortage,” other instructors and staffers blame program directors in Baltimore for “gross negligence.”
What led to the program’s cancellation, according to instructors and staff?
In an open letter to senior leadership, CTY staff outlined organizational issues that ultimately led to the staffing shortage, including upper management’s failure to provide adequate Covid-19 safety measures. CTY staff said they were told that if they tested positive for Covid-19, they would have to leave their site and forfeit pay for the remainder of the summer. But after the staff arrived at their locations, their directors did not provide or require continued, regular testing.
“This summer, CTY has created an unsustainable working and learning environment,” instructors and staff wrote in the letter. “CTY has disincentivized COVID testing and overwhelmed the already overburdened residential staff. Doing so has exposed both students and employees to unnecessary risk.”
Anything else I should know?
The program offers classes and job skills training in three-week blocks at locations across the country, abroad, and online. Subjects range from coding and web design to medical evaluations to criminal investigations. Until the cancellation, this summer marked the first in-person sessions since 2019.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Reporting for this story was provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and we thank them for their support. However, the findings and conclusions presented in this article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Foundation.
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