One can perhaps excuse the schools for shutting down in the very early days of the pandemic, when little was known about the virus, and what little we did know was based largely on whatever questionable data the communist regime in China allowed the rest of the world to see. But it quickly became obvious to anyone with a clear and honest mind that, of all institutions in the country, schools are probably among the safest. The early data, on this score at least, held up: children are not as likely to contract or spread the virus as older people. If they do manage to get infected, there is a very good chance they will have mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all.
Schools could have and should have reopened as soon as these facts became clearer. But many, as we approach nearly a year of shutdowns, are still closed. This is thanks in large part to the teachers unions, who have all but explicitly taken a “your child’s education be damned” stance, making demands and then endlessly shifting the goalposts in an apparent effort to ensure that they are never met. The Washington Post has an appropriately critical editorial about the school board and teachers union in Fairfax County and its desperate attempt to ensure that teachers get paid to stay home indefinitely.
From the article:
The Fairfax County school system demanded and then received high-priority placement for teachers and administrators to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Those vaccines began a week ago, and, according to the Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand, 5,000 teachers have received their first dose and an additional 22,000 teachers are registered to receive their first dose soon. And yet, having jumped to the front of the vaccine line, Brabrand, the FCPS School Board and the teachers union are delaying opening schools. That raises the question of why they have the priority placement to begin with, and whether these vaccinations should be immediately halted so that high-risk individuals or public servants who have been working outside of their homes for the entirety of the year have access.
This is beginning to look an awful lot like extortion. The education system was held hostage so that teachers could get to the front of the vaccine line — butting in front of the elderly, the sick, and other high risk groups — only to still refuse to go to work after getting what they want. Keep in mind that the average age of a teacher in the U.S. is 42. About 15 percent are under 30. Many teachers, then, are on the safer end of the risk spectrum. Yet they remain at home. Or perhaps not at home — I’m guessing many of them will still go to Target or sit down to eat at a restaurant without much fear.
It gets worse:
At the Jan. 21 school board meeting, Fairfax Education Association President Kimberly Adams said she received her first vaccine dose on Jan. 14, two days ahead of the scheduled start for school personnel. She has said that her union would not support a return to full-time education even in the fall. The fall. As in September 2021. Nine months after she was vaccinated. The union says that all students must also be vaccinated… Adams also wants 14 days of zero community spread.
So, now the students have to be vaccinated, even though they belong to the lowest risk category, and (this seems like a relevant consideration) there are no vaccines currently available for kids under the age of 14. But all of that is a moot point anyway because her demand for two weeks of zero spread is effectively a demand for school to simply never resume. Of course Kimberly Adams and her fellow extortionists still want full pay, full benefits, and, while they’re at it, a fast-tracked ticket to the front of the vaccine line.
Don’t expect anyone in the current administration to put an end to the madness. President Biden publicly bowed to the teachers unions, agreeing that a number of additional steps must be taken before schools can be as safe as, say, your local Walmart or liquor store (both of which have likely been open from the beginning of the pandemic). As for those steps, Biden proposed, among other things, “new ventilation systems.” He didn’t bother to offer any further explanation. New ventilation systems in every school? How is that going to work? And who is paying for it? And why is it necessary? Perhaps at this point we should demolish all of the schools and rebuild them from scratch just to be safe. You never know if the virus might be hiding under a floorboard somewhere. Better yet, let’s demolish the schools and not rebuild them at all. We may as well if they aren’t being used.
The upshot is that, in many parts of the country, school may not return this year or even in the fall. When all is said and done, millions of kids might end up missing two years of their education. For any child whose parents took over and decided to homeschool full time, this won’t be a problem. They’ll be better off, in fact. But most parents aren’t homeschooling. And so those kids — millions — are forced to make do with Zoom class and Skype sessions, which is to say that they are being forced to make do without any real education at all. Let’s not forget why these kids are being deprived in this way. It’s not because of the virus. It’s because of the unadulterated cowardice, self interest, callousness, and laziness of the teachers unions and many of its members.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.