Teachers Unions Rally in San Fran, L.A. for More Safety Before Reopening

Hollywood High School (Frederic J. Brown / Getty)
Frederic J. Brown / Getty

Teachers’ unions held rallies in San Francisco and Los Angeles on Saturday against reopening public schools in the area until a list of safety demands are met.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on a “vigil” in support of teachers’ union leaders, who are battling public criticism from local political leaders. The City of San Francisco has sued the San Francisco Unified School District for failing to reopen.

The Chronicle noted:

Susan Solomon, president of the United Educators of San Francisco, said teachers want sufficient amounts of personal protective equipment, a safety walk-through by the Department of Public Health, and having vaccines be both available and accessible. It wasn’t enough to just have assurances that vaccines were on their way, she said.

The union and school district officials are trying to reach agreement on the number of hours and days students can return to classrooms.

The union wants four days a week in person of only partial days, whereas the district wants two full days a week in person.

In Los Angeles, county public health officials have given the schools the green light to re-open, given the area’s falling coronavirus numbers. But teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District are reluctant, and held a drive-by rally on Saturday to support unions and to object to re-opening without what they say are necessary precautions. The Los Angeles Daily News reported:

Students, parents, educators and community members rallied in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 20, to demand that schools not reopen amid the pandemic until stronger safety measures are in place. The event featured a mid-morning car caravan rally that began outside the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and ended at the Ronald Reagan State Building.

Participants demanded access to COVID-19 vaccines for all school employees, smaller class sizes to ensure social distancing, and proper sanitation and personal protective equipment before schools reopen. They also want communities in every zip code served by the Los Angeles Unified School District to advance out of the purple tier of the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system before in-person classes resume. Rally goers also demanded immediate investments to improve ongoing distance learning.

Parents in the LAUSD have organized a strike for Monday, February 22, to demand that schools reopen.

Breitbart News asked Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday what made teachers different from other workers in the city, many of whom are already going back to work without vaccines. He said that he had “very frank conversations” with teachers, and acknowledged that city workers had, indeed, been working throughout the pandemic without outbreaks — including in close quarters, with safety measures, but without vaccines.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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