Unpopular opinion, but this constant coddling and centering of Teacher voices in the "return to school" debate is straight up classism. And racism. No other group of people have gotten the luxury of dictating their return to work and have had so much emphasis put on their safety.
Nobody said a peep when Daycare workers in NYC went back in June, taking care of children who cannot socially distance or wear masks - changing diapers, wiping noses, etc. These are people making poverty level wages with no protections.
SO. MANY. PEOPLE. are risking their health and safety right now because they need a paycheck. We are literally ignoring this elephant in the room while we pontificate about whether it is "safe" to have 8 kids spread apart in a mask in a DOE classroom. It's appalling.
If you are troubled by what I'm saying, take a step back and think about why you never bothered to care about the working class, who have been forced to work this entire time. That grocery clerk making minimum wage is risking their life and they have no choice.
We can care about Teacher safety (as we should!), but we don't need to continue to center their voices in this discussion, when their voices are drowning out the needs of millions of children and families. Their classrooms are proving to be safe. We have the data.
And I will say this again, unapologetically. School IS a form of childcare. This doesn't mean Teachers are babysitters. It means that we drop our children off at school so they can be cared for, and educated. We don't deserve to be gaslit into believing otherwise.
And all of these proposals for wraparound "childcare" to cover hybrid remote days are creating more risk as children are mixing cohorts and increasing exposure. The only benefit they serve is to push the risk of teaching from a union worker to a low wage worker.
Stop normalizing the idea that "childcare" is safe, but "school" is not. This is a made-up idea that does nothing but center the most privileged workers in the country (labor unions) while ignoring low wage, working class workers who work in childcare settings. It's gross.
In Manhattan this weekend, 2 window washers were plunged 20 ft due to broken scaffolding. They almost died. We risk ppl's lives every day for unimportant things like clean windows. We can ask Teachers to take a MINISCULE risk of COVID infection to teach kids. We can.
And one final thing - I am aware that Teachers across the US do not have the generous salary & benefits that a NYC DOE teacher has. I'm specifically talking about NYC, where Teachers enjoy a host of privileges due to their strong union. Hats off to Teachers in the south.
And btw, disclaimer - of course, this does not apply to all Teachers, and this should go without saying. I have several friends who are leading the charge of trying to convince their colleagues to trust in the data because their students so desperately need them. And they do.

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