“Bloody Murder!” Teachers Union Condemns Trump’s Suggestion to Re-Open
While the number of coronavirus cases is gradually declining, Teachers’ union heads vehemently refused to allow schools to re-open and even condemned President Donald Trump for suggesting they do so.
Union heads threatened that if schools were to open prematurely, and without the approval of medical experts, teachers will hold strikes against the administration. One union leader, Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), instructed his colleagues to “scream bloody murder!” in a report by Politico. She added that “you do everything you can to … use your public megaphones.”
#COVID19 is a terrible virus that has already taken too many lives, and, in the absence of a vaccine, there is no magic wand or magic elixir as the president would have us believe. https://t.co/42pi3U31cp— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) April 29, 2020
In her official statement, National Education Association (NEA) President Lily Eskelsen García said that they would only follow health experts and educators in terms of determining when they would re-open schools, and not based on Trump’s “whims” and his gut instincts to make decisions, in what she describes as an “unprecedented global health crisis.”
The educator later tweeted that the White House task force is so invested in saving the economy and that not one single person from the education system was there to represent 51 million public school students. She continued by saying that they would refuse to go back unless the administration was able to ensure that schools can safely re-open and added that allowing thousands of students to go back without testing, tracing, and social isolation can “cost lives.”
Bringing thousands of children together in school buildings without proper testing, tracing, and social isolation is dangerous and could cost lives. 👇🏾— Lily Eskelsen García (@Lily_NEA) April 29, 2020
The Union’s response came after the President suggested during a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) meeting, that while they were planning to open the economy, they might as well “start thinking” about school re-opening. Trump believed that children were able to adapt to the disaster. Later on, the President addressed Mike Pence by saying that they should put serious consideration on the matter.
Initially, the administration plans to place students’ desks six feet apart, and serve food in the classrooms rather than in the cafeteria to prevent social gatherings. The administration believed that schools are key to economic recovery, as it will provide a safe place for kids, while parents remain at work.
Currently, no governors have yet responded to Trump’s suggestion.
On the other hand, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered public schools to adopt a new grading system. During a press conference, the Mayor announced that students from kindergarten to fifth grade would either receive grades that “meets standards” or “needs improvement.” On the other hand, De Blasio claimed that students from sixth to eighth grades would have either “meets standards,” “needs improvement,” or “course in progress.” If the student failed, they would be more likely to receive a “course in progress” and go through “summer-fall support programs.”
"Any senior who can graduate, we're going to help them get there."— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) April 28, 2020
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio details new grading policies to help "students get back on track" amid school closures during COVID-19 pandemic. Watch his remarks: https://t.co/l1MXcIielq pic.twitter.com/6nNwEMWZzC
However, the United States is not the only country that plans to re-open its schools. In fact, the Singaporean government had already re-opened its classes last Monday. This is in stark contrast to most countries who opt to close down, as a way to contain the spread of the deadly “Chinese Virus.” According to Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, the Minister explained that the government’s decision had a strong scientific basis. In fact, according to recent studies, results show that children are less susceptible and have better immunity from the coronavirus.