Lauren Appell: Mr. Biden, our public school system should protect kids, not teachers’ unions

on Feb11
by | Comments Off on Lauren Appell: Mr. Biden, our public school system should protect kids, not teachers’ unions |

Across the country, the showdown is on between parents and teachers’ unions to let kids back in the classroom. Parents’ patience has run its course and armed with science that says schools are safe, they’re organizing and fighting back.   

I’ve watched as my friends’ children suffer the academic and emotional consequences of being stuck behind a screen; they’re fighting an unjust system that is buried in the back pocket of the special interest teachers’ unions. To say the deck is stacked against parents is an understatement.

Our priorities in society are all wrong. Our public school system should exist to protect our kids, not build a wall around teachers’ unions.

Full disclosure — some years ago, hoping all would go well, we started our kids in public school but, after three years of problems, pulled them out for a private school — no regrets.

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Private school isn’t the right choice for everyone, still, there is plenty of science that shows how in-person learning can be done successfully if the public school cares to look. Most private schools have been working successfully in-person since the beginning of the school year.

So, which is it President Biden, children and the science or the teachers’ unions, who are turning out to be the biggest bullies we have in our school system?

President Biden’s initial “goal” to have most K-8 schools open within his first 100 days in office sounded nice, but then this week his administration walked it back — way back — like several city blocks back.

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Now what they are calling “reopen” is half the schools would be open with half the kids in-person one day a week by day 100.

And they want points for this nonsense?

This is after the science has spoken. The Centers for Disease Control has said schools are safe, kids are not super spreaders, and in fact, they even said teachers don’t need to be vaccinated for schools to reopen safely.

If that’s not enough, consider that Congress has funded schools to the tune of $68 billion in Covid relief and to date they’ve only spent $4 billion of that money. Just curious, are they planning on installing partitions made out of gold?

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if the president would choose teachers unions or kids, and she answered by complaining that the question wasn’t fair. It’s actually a perfectly fair and legitimate question given President Biden’s own words on the campaign trail.

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Before he got elected he vowed he’d always stand with the teachers’ unions when he said, “You don’t just have a partner in the White House, you’ll have an NEA member in the White House.” 

He also promised he’d follow science, but so far he only seems to be ignoring it.

So, which is it President Biden, children and the science or the teachers’ unions, who are turning out to be the biggest bullies we have in our school system?

Far outweighing the risks of Covid-19 are the mental health issues plaguing our kids as a result of online learning. Increased suicides, depression, and drug overdoses are real and well documented.

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In fact, a Las Vegas school district recognized the gravity of the situation and quickly acted to reopen after seeing escalating suicide numbers.

Perhaps we may be seeing science break through just a crack, not just in Las Vegas but also in Chicago where the teachers’ union rank and file just voted by 68 percent to end its standstill with the Chicago Public Schools and get back to work. The vote signals that there may be a slight divide forming between individual members of the teachers union and the union bosses.

Not so much in Fairfax County, Va, where they redefined “in-person” learning to try and placate parents and announced they’re hiring classroom monitors — read babysitters — to sit in the classroom with kids, while forcing them to continue to learn behind a screen.

Same act different scene.  But, hey, it’s “in-person,” even if the teacher isn’t.

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The monitors need only have a high school diploma and pass a background check, all 800 of them. The recruitment administrator for Fairfax County Public Schools attempted to sell the classroom monitor jobs as a great way to increase employment.

Are these people for real? Let’s cheer ourselves on for bumping up employment numbers by hiring babysitters and ignoring science. That will fix everything.

Nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room — the kids and the catastrophic failure of educating them from a screen over the last year.

Stop treating parents like we’re morons.

It’s time for the teachers’ unions to stop calling the shots. The science has spoken, the only risk to our kids is letting these teachers’ unions continue to dictate how our kids learn. 

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Here’s an opportunity for President Biden to show the country he’s serious about uniting Americans on an issue that’s politically colorblind for every parent of a school-age child — opening up our schools. Nothing unites parents more than their kids.

Mr. President, lead by example, follow the science and not the teachers’ unions and our local counties and states just may follow.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM LAUREN DeBELLIS APPELL



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