Teachers' unions across the country have consistently opposed efforts to reopen schools, citing safety concerns. In some instances, teachers have fought to be included among the first wave of people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, only to continue their resistance to in-person education.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that, according to scientific research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is little evidence of COVID-19 transmission in schools that take standard precautionary measures.
"The preponderance of available evidence from the fall school semester has been reassuring," the CDC researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "There has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission."
The CDC's finding that schools can be reopened safely, combined with mounting evidence suggesting that remote learning has been detrimental to the mental health and academic achievement of young students, creates a dilemma for teachers who don't want to go back to work. It also raises questions—the answers to which are pretty obvious—about whether the unions are as concerned about their students' well-being as they claim to be.
The Chicago Teachers Union, for example, is preparing to strike this week after the nation's third-largest school district ordered a return to in-person learning. The union even produced a defiant video in which a bunch of dance teachers "use their art form as a voice to express their desire to feel safe." If watching this doesn't make you feel optimistic about the state of public education in America, nothing will.
Six of our rank-and-file dance teachers come together to use their art form as a voice to express their desire to feel safe amidst CPS' teacher return policy. They stand in solidarity with all educators at risk, because no one should have to choose between life and livelihood. pic.twitter.com/gajXH9PReE
— ChicagoTeachersUnion (@CTULocal1) January 23, 2021
We decided to make our own modified version, highlighting the importance of science. Enjoy!