Teachers’ Union Head to Members: Scream Bloody Murder if Schools Reopen Prematurely

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 12: President of American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten speaks during a “Lights for Liberty: A Nationwide Vigil to End Human Detention Camps” event at Lafayette Square July 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. Organizers hosted the event to call attention to the poor conditions at immigrant …
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Teachers’ union heads are condemning President Donald Trump’s suggestion that schools in some areas of the nation consider reopening prior to summer.

The union leaders said if schools reopen without approval of medical experts, they will push for strikes.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), told her members, “You scream bloody murder,” if schools reopen without the approval of medical experts, reported Politico.

“And you do everything you can to … use your public megaphones,” she added.

“We are listening to the health experts and educators on how and when to reopen schools – not the whims of Donald Trump who boasts about trusting his gut to guide him during this unprecedented global health crisis,” said National Education Association (NEA) president Lily Eskelsen García in a statement:

There is not a single educator on the White House task force focused on reopening the American economy. This means that 51 million public school students do not have an advocate in the White House for what they need to be safe as school buildings reopen. Bringing thousands of children together in school buildings without proper testing, tracing, and social isolation is dangerous and could cost lives.

García said during the pandemic “teachers and education support professionals have been working harder than ever.”

However, according to a report at Education Week, teachers have had much more “flexible arrangements” during the coronavirus crisis.

“The actual amount of time teachers are expected to instruct on a daily or weekly basis is shorter,” the report noted. “But they must reserve specific times for ‘office hours,’ when they are available to help students and parents individually.”

The report added that some of the details associated with teaching during the pandemic are being discussed in school districts with union leaders.

García said schools will still have many problems when they open in the fall, and called for $175 billion in additional federal education funding in another stimulus bill.

On Monday, Trump told governors states should “seriously consider” reopening public schools prior to summer.

“Some of you might start thinking about school openings, because a lot of people are wanting to have the school openings,” the president said on a call with the governors, reported the Associated Press. “It’s not a big subject, young children have done very well in this disaster that we’ve all gone through.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is finalizing guidelines for reopening schools. Recommendations include placing student desks six feet apart, serving meals in classrooms rather than cafeterias, and prohibiting outdoor play in playgrounds.

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