The head of a Washington state teachers union compared the push to reopen schools to “white supremacy” during a school board Zoom call on Wednesday.
Scott Wilson said in the meeting, “There are decisions to be made. You stand on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol as people break down barriers and head to the doors. Do you follow?”
A WA teacher’s union president says reopening schools is an example of “white supremacy,” concern over a child’s mental health or suicide risk is “white privilege,” and push to reopen schools is like rioters pushing to enter the U.S. Capitol.
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) January 13, 2021
“We must not ignore the culture of white supremacy and white privilege. We have seen it in the free to breathe, the reopen rodeos and rallies,” he continued.
“We speak of care of all students and yet we listen and attend to voices saying reopen everything, I’m free to breathe, supporting white privilege.”
He suggested that parents struggling to help their children with coronavirus-related depression are an example of “white privilege”.
“They complain their children are suicidal without school or sports. As a father daily surviving the suicide of my son, I find these statements ignorant and another expression of white privilege,” Wilson said.
Health commissioner Dr. Amy Person stood by her recommendation to reopen schools in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“I have released recommendations for school districts that have successfully returned children to elementary schools without evidence of outbreaks or secondary transmission in schools,” Person told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“They can begin looking to phase in the secondary students at the end of the month, providing they are following the appropriate infection control protocols and have the capacity to continue the early identification of cases and close contacts,” she added.
Though declining to comment on Wilson’s statements, she said, “Public health decisions on recommendations for school openings are based on weighing the risks of communicable disease along with the health risks of educational failures and mental health needs. They are very carefully considered and complex decisions and are not based on politics.”
Public affairs director Shane Edinger provided a statement to the DCNF on school board superintendent Michelle Whitney’s behalf, saying, “Many people have expressed that they were offended by certain comments and have called on the district to take action. The district does not endorse or condone any individual’s viewpoint.”
Edinger also commented on the proposed reopening of schools. “Our elementary schools are already open for students. We’re working on our plan to bring back middle school and high school students,” Edinger said.
Scott Wilson did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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