Bullying Teachers Is a Mask-Off Moment for the Ruling Class
Coddling billionaires and calling teachers lazy is abhorrent.
I have a child in public school who is now temporarily being home-schooled because gutless Democratic officials in my state refuse to authorize a remote learning option in a vicious pandemic. Many parents don’t have that option and are being penalized by government officials.
I can’t begin to describe my gratitude and respect for those who provide our kids an education: teachers, administrators, nurses, mental health professionals, guidance counselors, maintenance staff, cafeteria workers. And I can barely contain my loathing for those who bash them. School staffers deserve better than being bullied for wanting to stay safe and protect their loved ones.
Setting aside the pros and cons of virtual learning, it is absolutely repugnant that corporate media figures like MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Fox News’s Greg Gutfeld are denigrating teachers for simply wanting a remote option in the face of the monster Omicron wave.
We’re at the point in the pandemic where the system needs its workers, so anyone who stands in the way is expendable. It is abusive, authoritarian behavior that harms the most vulnerable in our society. To enrich the billionaire class, political leaders of both ruling parties are denying parents, students, and teachers the opportunity to protect themselves from the potential ravages of a virus that can have debilitating long-term effects.
Yes, in-person learning is better for most children. Yes, there are people whose jobs depend on their kids being in school. Yes, public schools provide meals and other basic necessities for low-income families. But this is a global health emergency. What’s the point of America’s wealth if it can’t provide free mental health support, food, childcare, and a monthly stipend to take care of teachers and students as we ride out the massive spike in infections? At the very least, why not provide an option to those who can take it, so as to reduce the spread of the virus?
When billionaires are raking in pandemic money while teachers are getting attacked as “lazy,” something is profoundly wrong with our society. As I wrote recently, no words can capture the callousness of current US government policy, which amounts to “let them work and go to school, get sick, contract long COVID, and in some cases, die.” In more ways than one, this pandemic has truly been a mask-off moment for America‘s ruling class.
Kudos and solidarity with students and teachers who are taking matters into their own hands.
My daughter teaches in a less affluent high school. Today she had a student who is obviously quite ill but is behind in credits and wants to stay in class. He refuses to get tested so he won't have to quarantine. She has multiple students testing positive most days. The district superintendent has vowed to stay in person despite other nearby districts returning to online learning.
It's difficult to see her risking her life like this. Her husband is living separately temporarily due to his health issues and concerns about becoming infected. The students are terribly stressed - not from being denied in person school but from anxiety due to being forced to be in person as this district has no option for remote schooling.
What kind of country have we become?
One of the few benefits of being a consumer attorney is having to fight large organizations on a regular basis. That said, I will personally bring an action against the local school district unless they convince me that it is the state of California that is refusing to fund remote learning and providing adequate protection to kids in which case I'm in federal Court suing the state. 3 of my grandkids are in the district and God help the neolib administrator who threatens them directly or otherwise. Enough is enough.