R&I – TxPAT **** Imagine if all essential workers in California followed teachers unions’ lead and refused to return to in-person work. Society would have crumbled. The stark contrast between how most teachers unions in the state and other essential workers have responded to the pandemic illuminates the selfishness of the former and the bravery of the latter.
Last week, Gov. Newsom signed legislation to reopen schools on April 1 to get kids back in classrooms after they’ve been stuck at home for over a year. Some state teachers unions have indicated they may to strike to avoid returning to work. Los Angeles teachers and school employees voted overwhelmingly last week to refuse to go back to classrooms, demanding vaccinations, among other conditions, before returning.
Healthcare professionals, including dental, medical, and pharmacy staff, grocery store workers, first responders, and teachers are all essential workers. Yet only teachers have refused to return to in-person work. Not coincidentally, they are the only ones who get paid whether or not they show up.
…Classrooms are even safer than other essential workplaces because they are filled with children, who have been virtually untouched by this disease. A recent study in Clinical Infectious Diseases finds that children are far less likely to get infected or transmit the virus than adults.
No wonder a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control finds no difference in COVID-19 infections between in-person and virtual classrooms. And, reopened nonunionized private and charter schools have not had virus outbreaks. Dr. Anthony Fauci even states that schools are safer than the broader community. From the CDC to the American Association of Pediatricians, nearly all scientific bodies conclude that classrooms can safely reopen.