In the last sixty days, the world has exploded into the people who believe schools should start back immediately and the ones who say that during a pandemic schools can wait and at most continue virtually. There have been ferocious Facebook battles between both sides on social media and impassioned pleas in virtual school board meetings demanding that the powers that be listen to reason. Even in my own family, my distant family members have made the empty threat of stopping paying their property tax in an attempt to scare their local lawmakers into bending and opening the schools. All of this has been happening as schools have attempted to educate children in the midst of a pandemic where the Internet is choppy and there doesn’t seem to be enough computers for all of the children.
Through all of these arguments, most teachers have remained quiet; focused on trying to deliver a quality lesson instead of reasoning with two sides who are making other political battles look tame by comparison.
But with forty days until the election, it’s time for teachers to find their voice and realize they’ve been betrayed and asked to keep the economy going by forgoing common sense and reopening schools in the midst of a pandemic.
Betrayed by the parents who months previously who had touted them as ‘angels’ and would do anything to show their appreciation. These are the same parents who spend hours telling teachers how to do their job but when faced with having to teach their own children crumble and demand that teachers put their lives on the line.
Betrayed by the politicians who pander for their vote each election cycle and then quickly forget about teachers and public education as they divert funds and ignore the resource gap our schools have. These are the same politicians who say they love their former teachers but are rarely visible in the school community on a consistent basis.
Betrayed by the administrators who have asked teachers to enter buildings that are unclean, unkempt, and breeding grounds for COVID-19. For years, teachers have been asked to be ‘team players’ but as soon as we ask them to hold custodial staff, district staff, or parents accountable they forget about our sacrifice and become focused on school first.
Betrayed by a country that has allowed the highest office in the land (the President of the United States) to attempt to classify teachers as essential workers, divert money from public schools to private schools, and basically tell us that COVID-19 is made up in our head and that on election day it will disappear.
As you can see this betrayal is widespread and this should make teachers do one thing this fall- V.O.T.E. We shouldn’t vote by party line, but instead but we should look to see who’s worked to protect teachers, students, and families during this unprecedented times.
During the next forty days, we need to
LOUDLY call out the betrayals of those who should have been protecting students and staff during this pandemic.
find local and national races where we can donate our time, money, and resources in getting the right people elected.
push the science that COVID-19 does not discriminate in school-age children.
This is just the beginning of the work that teachers must do but right now the most important thing on our list is to VOTE.
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