As time goes on it has become apparent that not all the local voices on the topic of teachers and schools are of the Re-Open variety. I have been heartened to see a growing chorus of parents and community members supporting teachers and making the case for returning to face-to-face learning when it is actually safe. Considering how hard teachers are working, the verbal abuse they have been taking on social media, and the ridiculous and frustrating process for getting vaccinated, it must be a welcome change for them to receive some community support.
You can help.
Tonight there will be a safe, socially distanced car rally to support safe schools. It will begin at Howard High School and proceed to the Board of Education Building. From the event page:
We meet at Howard High School on February 16th at 5 pm. We will travel to the Howard County Board of Education to make our demands for a pause on returning to buildings until educators who want vaccines get them, metrics-based decisions on when to reopen buildings and when to go back to distance virtual learning, more vaccines for educators, and for our own Board of Education to stand up to bullying from the Governor and MSDE.
This socially distanced protest will be held in our cars at the beginning, during transit from Howard High to the Howard County Board of Education, and once we reach the BOE.
I can assure you that teachers want to teach. They have been teaching all along. Teachers, more than anyone else, know the circumstances in their own schools and the likelihood of proper safety measures being undertaken and continued appropriately. To give you an idea of why teachers rather than invisible higher-ups and televised political talking heads should be consulted in making plans to return, I present to you this piece by another Howard County blogger, Ubuntu Mom.
We asked to wait to return to school until we could get a vaccine, mainly because—surprise—we’ve all worked inside of a school before and we know that the many mitigation plans that have been presented are well-intentioned, but likely unrealistic. We’ve all seen that soap dispenser that was never refilled, we know which bathroom runs out of toilet paper and paper towels by lunch time, and we know which rooms have an HVAC system that has to be controlled with a pair of scissors. And now, we are all to have faith that every air quality and temperature issue has been fixed in our school building? That we will be provided with endless supplies of hand sanitizer, antibacterial cleaners and PPE? Do you know how many pencils and notebooks we’ve personally bought for our students?
Take the time to read her whole piece. It is so thorough, so well-thought out, and so heart-breaking. To see so many people “throw teachers under the bus” in a time of crisis rather than acknowledge and benefit from their obvious expertise is mind-boggling to me.
Imagine how it feels to them.