Teachers Unions Are Attempting Political Blackmail. It’s Time To Break Them Up
Teachers Unions Are Attempting Political Blackmail. It’s Time To Break Them Up By John Daniel Davidson for The Federalist
In an abject show of selfishness and political bias, teachers unions are trying to hold the country hostage over baseless COVID-19 fears.
It’s not enough that public school teachers and the college professors who train them are increasingly prone to teaching leftist absurdities like “2+2=5” or presenting the mendacious 1619 Project as legitimate American history. Teachers unions are now trying to blackmail the entire country into meeting a set of leftist political demands for reopening the schools this fall, using COVID-19 as their excuse.
Of course, the pandemic certainly presents challenges for re-opening schools, but other sectors of society have managed to rise to the occasion over the past several months to keep the country running. Grocery stores clerks, truck drivers, warehouse workers, and of course police, firefighters, doctors, and nurses—all have kept working, sometimes under tough conditions and sometimes at great personal risk.
Then there are teachers unions. More than any other group during this pandemic, teachers unions have shown themselves to be abjectly selfish, hyper-political, and totally intransigent about teaching during the pandemic. They are willing to lie about the science behind COVID-19 transmission and shamelessly stoke fear to advance their partisan agenda. Just about the last thing these unions seem to care about is educating children or helping the country get back on its feet.
On Monday, an alliance of teachers unions and leftist groups in dozens of states staged a “National Day of Resistance,” issuing a series of demands that they say must be met before their members will return to the classroom. What do they want? Rents and mortgages canceled, a “massive infusion of federal money” from “taxing billionaires and Wall Street,” moratoriums on new charter schools and voucher programs and standardized tests, and of course “police-free schools,” among other things.
Some teachers unions have gone a step further. In New York City, one group is demanding teachers not be required to return to school until a minimum of 14 days have passed after any new COVID-19 cases, claiming their lives are at risk if schools open (despite evidence to the contrary in Europe and Asia). During protests Monday, hundreds of NYC teachers marched with handmade coffins and a guillotine, chanting wording to slogans like “children can’t learn if they’re dead.”
Elsewhere in the country, it’s more of the same. In Massachusetts, the state’s second-largest teachers union is demanding remote-only instruction. In Austin, Texas, the teachers union has issued a lengthy list of demands including no in-person instruction until mid-November at least, a guarantee of full pay with no layoffs or furloughs, and all employees having the right to refuse to return to work if they feel unsafe. Earlier this month, a large teachers union in Los Angeles demanded everything listed above as well as things the city’s school district has no power to do, like the passage of Medicare for All, a California wealth tax, a federal bailout of the school district, and defunding the local police.