A teachers union in North Carolina has responded to Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan to reopen his state’s public schools next month by issuing a list of demands.
In a statement Monday, the Durham Association of Educators accused the state’s leaders of being willing to let teachers “get sick and die” over a decision to allow schools to reopen for in-person instruction.
“Governor Cooper needs to shut down the state to flatten the curve,” the statement read.
But simply shutting down the state of North Carolina is not enough.
North Carolina must also institute “concrete policies that have permitted other countries to flatten the curve and return to public life,” the statement said, including left-wing agenda items like “moratoriums on rent and mortgage, universal health care” and “direct income support regardless of immigration status.”
In a petition distributed via The Action Network titled “TERMS OF RE-ENTRY: NC PUBLIC SCHOOL WORKERS BILL OF RIGHTS,” the union listed the demands that it wants the state to meet before teachers return to school buildings for in-person classes.
“The NC General Assembly must … [d]irect appropriate decision-making bodies to meet with public school employees, convened by the North Carolina Association of Educators, for the purpose of co-creating conditions of re-entry that respect the concerns of our students, families, and staff (i.e. safety, healthcare, teaching and learning, racial and economic justice, etc.),” the union said.
While the union acknowledged that it is in the best interests of children to be attend school in person, the group’s statement described the coronavirus pandemic as “a game of Russian Roulette” and demanded that schools revert to remote learning.
“The United States leads the world in positive cases and deaths, isolated from the rest of the globe,” the union said.
“We must fight together, collectively, for changes that will permit our communities to thrive during this pandemic and beyond.”
“By acting together, we have the power to determine the conditions in which we will return to in person instruction. As front line workers who know how best to meet our children’s educational needs, we have the responsibility to ensure we do so safely,” it added in the petition.
“Our Schools. Our Safety. Our Say,” the petition stated.
The group’s statement also attacked President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, claiming they only care about “protecting wealth and big business” and citing an alleged “failure to invest in public education over the last decade.”
The union made no mention of the fact that Trump is a first-time politician who has only held public office since 2017.
Likewise, DeVos never held office before being nominated by Trump in 2017.
Both Trump and DeVos have emphasized the importance of opening schools nationwide for in-person instruction in the coming school year.
Cooper, a Democrat, seemingly broke with members of his party this past week when he announced that public schools would reopen for in-person classes.
School districts do the option to stick with remote learning if they choose.
Throughout this pandemic, the most important opening in our state has been that of our classroom doors. Yesterday, Gov. Cooper announced that North Carolina schools will be opening this fall for both in-person and remote learning. pic.twitter.com/3IkRtSfgKh
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) July 15, 2020
“We know that there will still be some risks,” Cooper said, according to Reuters. “But there is much risk in not going back.”
“We’ve had to make a series of tough decisions,” the governor added. “Schools will look a lot different; they have to.”
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