Rutland Police Detective John Songy died from COVID in May. It was awful and tragic, but nobody suggested that we shut down the police or do “remote policing” because we all recognize that police are essential. Police are not cowards and understand that what they do is essential, so they’d never suggest that. Schools and teachers are likewise essential, and “remote learning” is not an acceptable option if you want your kids to learn effectively. Any teacher who is refusing to go back to school because they fear a virus that has almost no chance of killing them is a coward and should resign. I get messages every day from teachers telling me just that, and they’re ashamed at some of their coworkers leading the charge to keep schools closed.
One of these teachers is Courtney Viveiros, a Duxbury resident and 4th grade teacher at Kingston Intermediate School.
The Duxbury Public Schools are voting tonight about whether or not they should open schools and she has some strong opinions on that. Keep in mind that zero children under the age of 20 have died from COVID, out of a population of more than 1 million in that demographic. The average age of teachers in Massachusetts is 42. A total of 457 people under the age of 60 have died from COVID, which constitutes over 5 million Massachusetts residents. That’s 1 in every 10,000 people, the majority of which had pre-existing conditions, so teachers have realistically little to fear as well, even if they contracted COVID.
But this data doesn’t concern people like Courtney. Here’s the letter she posted explaining why she doesn’t want to return to work.
You know what else affects children’s social emotional needs? Child abuse. Teachers are more than just teachers. They are mandated reporters. They make up the majority of 51 A’s that are filed after noticing something wrong with a child. Being abused is far more detrimental to a child’s well being than having to sit in rows.
Then she became a scientist.
1. If you don’t feel safe sending your kids to school then don’t send them. But your ridiculous fears shouldn’t prevent my kids from getting a quality education.
2. My kid shouldn’t be deprived of an education because your kid’s grandparents live upstairs. What she’s basically saying is that her kid’s right to hang out with Grandma is more important than my kid’s right to an education. If you’re worried about your kids giving COVID to Grandma then don’t let the kids see Grandma. All of my kid’s grandparents choose not to live in fear like this.
3. The flu kills thousands of kids a year, but we don’t even suggest doing remote learning to avoid the flu, which is a much larger threat to children than COVID.
She’s also an HVAC specialist because she read “scientific articles.”
Remote learning isn’t learning. My school district’s plan to reopen involves an hour of Zoom time with my kid. She can’t sit there by herself which means I have to sit with her. After that her day is done and now I’m the glorified babysitter. I pay taxes for teachers to teach my kids, not me. I’ll help them with homework, read to them, and make sure they’re prepared for school. But it’s not my job to be a co-teacher because you’re afraid of a virus. Start telling teachers that you’ll cut their pay if they don’t return and watch how quick they get over their fears. When you bring that up you get comments like this.
It’s not my job to “get creative,” it’s the school’s job. I love my kids very much, but I also need money to make sure they have food and shelter. Congratulations on being so well off that you can stay home with your five kids, but not everyone is living in your elitist bubble. And yes, it is babysitting. I’d love nothing more than to hang out with my kids all day, but they need an education and I need to earn money, so “remote learning” is not an acceptable option.
Keep in mind, Courtney is a teacher and wants her kids to stay home too. So who’s going to take care of her kids while she’s working? Teachers are insisting that remote learning is just as time consuming as real teaching. If that’s the case they should be busy the entire day and thus will have no time to tend to their kids. But of course we all know that’s not what remote learning is.
Then again, a quick look at her page shows that the fearmongering and brainwashing is strong in this one.
It’s scary that someone this uneducated is in charge of teaching children.
This one made me laugh.
You’re a teacher who is demanding not to go back to work. You might not have made the policy but you’re influencing it by lobbying the school committee and spreading misinformation.
This one seems rational.
Just a teacher sharing a book called, “So you’re an orphan now” to spread fear porn about a disease that has almost no chance of killing your kid or you. No big deal. Better to be dramatic than rational.
She also says that she can’t “give her full self” to her work because she’s scared.
OK then, quit. You’re obviously not up for the job and the obstacles that have been thrown at you. Good luck finding a job where you don’t come in contact with other human beings and get paid to sit at home doing a couple Zoom calls.
She’s a big fan of sharing articles about kids dying.
I’ve clicked on a few of these, and of course they never list the name of the child or their family. There’s no way to verify any of this and find out if the kid was already ill. She doesn’t care about any of that because she would prefer to live in the fantasy world where COVID is killing kids. It’s not.
This one says it all.
Your “actual life” isn’t in danger from COVID. I don’t just care about my kid’s “social life, and screw you for suggesting that this is the only thing parents care about. My kid needs an education, structure, and yes the social and emotional aspects that come along with school. Their right to do that is infinitely more important than your right to be irrationally scared, especially when I’m paying your salary. If you’re a teacher pushing this kind of nonsense then don’t ever tell me again that it’s about the kids. It’s clearly about you.
Courtney also isn’t worried about your kid falling behind in school because it’s just “our created expectations of where they should be by a certain age.”
Well that’s great news. Turns out school isn’t really important at all. As long as our kids don’t die they really don’t need anything else. If you actually believe this then it means you don’t believe your job is very valuable or necessary.
And finally this.
Wrong. We don’t shut down the world so that zero people die. We don’t shut down the police because some police officers have died from COVID. We don’t stop putting out fires because 9 Worcester firefighters have been killed in the last 20 years. Every single teacher who is refusing to go back had no problem going to the grocery store and didn’t seem to mind that the employees there who make much less than them are “risking their lives” so they could buy toilet paper.
I take this issue personally because I’m a parent and a former teacher. If I was still teaching I’d be dying to get back into the classroom. Last night our school committee voted to do remote learning for an unspecified amount of time. This was one of the School Committee members who voted for remote learning asking the taxpayers to vote for a budget so that teachers don’t lose their jobs.
“Give us your money and in return we’ll keep the schools closed.”
Now the district won’t have to pay for school buses, heating, electricity, or any of the other day to day costs of keeping schools open. When will the taxpayers receive a refund?
They keep saying we’re going to “re-evaluate” in November. What does that mean? What happens if in November we’re in the same situation? What happens if a year from now we’re still in the same situation? The virus isn’t going anywhere and there is no way to stop the spread as we’ve seen with the lockdown. How long is it acceptable to keep this going? Because we all know that “re-evaluating” in November means we’re just going to do the same thing again. The virus is here. It’s part of our world now. We have to live with it and continue on. If you want to hide from it that’s your choice. You have no right to force everyone else to do the same.
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