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Emmy Griffin / August 4, 2021

Masked Motives: Teachers Union Wavers on Classroom Return

The real reasons for AFT’s hesitation? This is a hostage situation.

In our home state of Tennessee, parents and teachers alike just took part in the time-honored ritual of getting back-to-school supplies over the tax-free weekend. After a year of hybrid learning, everyone is ready for school to go back to normal.

That’s assuming schools will be allowed to reopen. This actually remains a question across the country, especially after the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Randi Weingarten, stated recently that due to the COVID Delta variant, lack of herd immunity, and the fact that students under 12 years of age can’t get vaccinated, she cannot guarantee that school will indeed reopen.

The reasoning is ludicrous. Public school teachers were some of the first to be allowed to get the vaccine. The teachers who were concerned got the vaccine. The vaccine has proven to be helpful in fighting the Delta variant. Available evidence shows that though there may be breakthrough cases, there is an extremely low chance that the infection would cause hospitalization or death.

Children under 12 are not super-spreaders. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as of July 29, children account for 14.3% of all COVID cases. Furthermore, “The available data indicate that COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death is uncommon in children.” That’s an understatement. Keep in mind that a few states even count as children those up to the age of 20, potentially skewing the data.

The real reasons for AFT’s hesitation? This is a hostage situation.

The teachers unions have every reason to hold the threat of school closures over the heads of parents. Most of these reasons come in the form of political power and stacks of cash.

In terms of money, they demanded that the federal government give them millions of dollars toward updating filtration in schools, and this they received.

In terms of power, it is no secret that the teachers unions wield an immense amount of sway in the Democrat Party. In April of this year, Weingarten stated regarding the 2022 elections that it “will be a vitally important cycle, and that’s why the AFT moved earlier than usual, mindful of the challenges posed by the pandemic, to ensure our long-term allies could establish a footprint.” That movement she’s referring to is monetary donations to congressional candidates and committees through AFT’s PAC.

You don’t hear the teachers in these unions saying much. The fact is that the average public school teacher saw a rise in salary of 3% even though most were not teaching in person until the spring — if at all. The unions have greased the pockets of teachers and politicians alike and will likely continue to do the bidding of the federal government in the process.

President Joe Biden stated two weeks ago that the Centers for Disease Control is going to recommend that students under 12 are masked at school. And this week, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins stated: “The recommendations are for kids under 12, that they avoid being in places where they might get infected, which means recommendations of mask-wearing in schools.” (Bafflingly, he recommended masks at home as well, but we digress.)

Again, this is an unnecessary measure that does not align with science.

It will be interesting to see if this eventually plays a part in AFT’s decision to reopen schools this fall. It will certainly unmask any doubts that the teachers unions and the current government administration are in cahoots to control parents through threatening their children’s education.

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