TB Investigates

Newton Teacher’s Union Admonishes Teachers Plotting To Lie About Their Health On Survey To Prevent Schools From Opening

 

As a former teacher, a parent of a child who is looking forward towards her first day of kindergarten, and someone who appreciates facts and data, there’s nothing I’m more passionate about right now than reopening schools. I loved teaching, and if I ever went six months without being in front of a classroom I’d be anxious to get back and mold young minds. I almost always defend teachers on this blog, including the union, but I’ve never been more ashamed and embarrassed with the behavior of some teachers who don’t want to reopen schools. However, there are plenty of teachers who do, they just can’t vocalize it in a profession where the majority of people oppose anything Donald Trump wants, lest they be labeled (gasp) Trump supporters.

One of these teachers is a turtle rider who works in the Newton Public Schools, where teachers at a recent union meeting were urging their colleagues to lie on surveys regarding their own health issues and how COVID affects them. So many teachers were planning on doing this that the union president Michael Zilles had to write an email specifically telling them not to do that.

(It should be noted that this is the same union that defended a teacher who was using arguably anti-semitic literature in class to attack Israel.)

Any teacher who was plotting to lie on a survey that would inhibit the education of children is a disgrace to the profession and should find a new line of work. The teacher who sent this to us agrees.

The goal is to keep the building closed as long as possible. They think this is a political movement, the students aren’t even on the radar for these people. Obviously I’m going out on a limb, hence the “anonymous” account, but I’ve had it with these BS artists. They don’t care about the negative effects this has on the students.

Although Mike Zilles should be commended for reprimanding these frauds, he’s wrong about his plan to reopen the schools. The schools should be fully reopened at 100% capacity as they normally would. Delaying with “remote learning” before a “smooth transition” back occurs is simply delaying the inevitable. COVID isn’t going anywhere. You can bring the number of cases down all you want, but the moment you reopen society completely it will come back. Luckily a grand total of zero children under the age of 20 died in Massachusetts from coronavirus, so if kids catch the virus it’s much less dangerous to them than the flu. Your kid has an infinitely more likely chance to die in a car accident than they do from catching COVID at school. Anyone who suggests otherwise is ignorant of the undeniable data.

The data is unclear about how effectively kids spread the virus, but it doesn’t matter. You don’t shut down an entire public school system because a kid might catch a disease that is no threat to them, and might pass it on to someone later on who is in a more at risk age group.

The American Pediatric Association says that schools should be reopened, because the cost of keeping kids away from school is much more dangerous than the statistical improbability that kids will die if we reopen. MSNBC, which fully opposes reopening due to the fact that Trump favors opening, had five pediatricians on last week and asked them if they would send their own kids to a public school. They were not expecting the answers they got.

“Yes. Period. Absolutely.”

“Absolutely. As much as I can.”

“Without a hesitation.”

“I have no concerns about sending my kids back to school.”

The host’s face at the end and look of shock says it all.

What these predominantly white teachers in Newton don’t realize (who no doubt subscribe to black lives matter dogma) is that their reluctance to get back in the classroom is what systemic racism actually looks like. Students who come from upper middle class and wealthy, two parent homes are the least affected by the lockdown because their parents have the resources to get them tutoring and access to books and other tools that can help enhance their education. Students who come from impoverished backgrounds are disproportionately students of color and more often lack these resources. Every day schools do not open up the achievement gap between these student groups widens.

Mostly white teachers who are willing to allow black and brown students to suffer so that they can feel “safe” from a virus that has a 99.98% recovery rate for those who contract it, are creating systemic racism.

More than anything, school is not just about learning how to read and write. You will forget most of the things you learned in your high school chemistry class, but you will remember the discipline you learned while you were learning the subject matter. You learned how to plan and budget your time. You learned how to get to your classes on time, and you paid the consequences when you didn’t. You learned how to work in groups and collaborate on projects. You learned how to give presentations. You learned how to make friends.

All of these are life skills that you carry with you the rest of your life after you forgot everything you learned in pre-calculus.

Teachers who are writing their wills are attention seeking drama queens who should be embarrassed by their behavior. As should Rebecca Martinson, a Washington state teacher who wrote this this op-ed in the New York Times entitled,”I won’t return to the classroom and you shouldn’t ask me too.”

Every day when I walk into work as a public-school teacher, I am prepared to take a bullet to save a child. In the age of school shootings, that’s what the job requires. But asking me to return to the classroom amid a pandemic and expose myself and my family to Covid-19 is like asking me to take that bullet home to my own family.

“If I’m asked to return I’ll walk away.”

Good. The idea that someone as ignorant as you could be near my kids frightens me a lot more than COVID.

Rebecca Martin is a racist narcissist who would cower in fear the second a school shooting happened. She wants to make herself look like she’s working in a dangerous profession, but she’s not. Her students have almost a 0.0% chance of being killed in a school shooting, which is still greater than their chances of dying from COVID. If she got the virus it would not be a threat to her family either, unless she’s married to someone over the age of 80 or is morbidly obese herself. If this were a virus that specifically targeted children I would agree to keep the schools closed. But it’s not. These adults are putting their own ridiculous fears of dying from a virus with a 99.98% recovery rate over the well being of the children they profess to care so much about.

More than anything this is insulting to nurses, doctors, cops, firefighters, and every single other person who has returned to work. McDonald’s employees making $10 an hour haven’t missed a day, but teachers are the ones in danger? Why should a teacher’s life be more valuable than the lives of all these people? Is a Big Mac more essential than an education? What teachers are effectively saying is that they’re as replaceable as a minimum wage worker, and they’re certainly not essential. I disagree. I think teachers should be paid as the professionals that I expect them to be, and believe that they are very essential to the intellectual growth of my children.

The first day of kindergarten is one of my first childhood memories, and a huge day in the life of a human being. My daughter should not be denied this important life moment because her teachers are scared of a virus.

 

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