Coronavirus & School Closings: Kids Losing Big Parts of Their Education

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Teachers’ unions deserve every bit of scorn that they get and more. In the New York Times, the head of the country’s largest teachers’ union whines that parents are attempting to “bully” teachers back into schools:

“We don’t want to be in the business of putting a hierarchy in place,” said Becky Pringle, who runs the country’s largest teachers’ union, the National Education Association, “because some of our members are being bullied into returning back to classrooms. That’s not safe, we don’t want to support that.”

Bullying? Bullying? Ma’am, the classroom is where the students are — it is where your members’ jobs are. Everyone working in supermarkets and pharmacies and Amazon warehouses and driving trucks doesn’t want to get exposed to the virus, either. But they’re putting on their masks and socially distancing and going in and doing their best because the job has to get done. And now some teachers are saying they don’t want to go back into the classroom, even with a vaccine available?

But somehow, this article gets much, much worse:

In Chicago, the teachers’ union is fighting a plan to begin returning some students to schools early next year. “Obviously, if school is continuing remote, there’s less urgency around the vaccination,” said the Chicago Teachers Union’s president, Jesse Sharkey.

Asked if he could imagine schools opening before fall 2021, Mr. Sharkey said yes, but he suggested it would have more to do with controlling the spread of the virus than vaccinating teachers. “With mitigation strategies in place, and with a reasonably low level of community spread, I do think that we could get to open schools,” he said.

Sure, reopening the schools could add some urgency to get vaccinated, but you know what’s really causing most of the urgency around the vaccination? The contagious virus. Some unions used the lack of vaccine to justify keeping the schools closed, and now they’re using closed schools as an excuse to put off getting vaccinated.

Clearly, the teachers’ unions are quite content with the current status quo of students attempting to learn from home. Working parents are not! Roughly 2.2 million American women have left the workforce since February. In many cases, those women haven’t had a choice about leaving their jobs, because the schools and after-school care are closed, and that’s where their children would be weekdays. And for the most vulnerable kids, distance learning isn’t working either.

But in the eyes of these teachers’ unions, distance learning is a comfortable status quo that is meant to be extended as long as possible. Forget bullying; parents should seek out any way possible to punish the teachers’ unions for how they’ve abused their power throughout this whole ordeal.

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