Stabenow: We Must Ensure Teachers ‘Feel Safe’ Returning to Class, ‘Don’t Know the Specifics’ on Chicago, D.C. Re-Opening

On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) stated that we have to make sure teachers “feel safe” returning to school and that she doesn’t know the specific details on whether it’s safe for schools in Chicago and Washington, D.C. to re-open.

Co-host Joe Scarborough asked, “Are the teachers’ unions dragging their feet too much on this?”

Stabenow responded, “Well, I believe part of this package, and what we need to do, is make sure that teachers feel confident and feel safe. I mean, we’ve now seen in the daily COVID briefings that we have a new home test that is going to be made available where folks could — we ought to be investing in our teachers, where they are able to take a test every day and determine whether they are safe and others in the school are safe as well, bus drivers, custodians, and so on. We ought to be giving them every tool that they need. As someone who’s led the school-based health center legislation and we actually authorized something, the end of the year, we’ve got to get money in for health care, mental health. We know what is happening, for children, as well as adults. And so, to me, it’s not about trying to pit teachers against children and parents and so on. It’s how do we make sure the school’s safe and that teachers feel safe, that everybody feels safe, that parents know their children are safe. And that’s what this package is about. And that’s why there’s such a sense of urgency about it.”

Scarborough then asked, “Do you think that schools are not safe enough for teachers in Chicago and Washington, D.C. to return?”

Stabenow answered, “I don’t know, Joe. I don’t know the specifics on that. … I do know this, we need to do more and support them, and — if we’re going to be able to get our children back to school safely.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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