Teacher unions balk at vaccine requirements
Teacher unions spent the bulk of the pandemic arguing their members should not be in classrooms teaching kids in person so long as there was no vaccine available to fight the virus.
But now that there are vaccines, some of those same teacher unions are refusing to get behind policies requiring their members to get vaccinated in order to make sure in-person instruction can resume:
“We have advocated since the beginning of the year that any educator who wants a vaccine should have easy access to one,” the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) union said in a statement.
“We would support local efforts to encourage more vaccinations, such as through programs that require that those who are not vaccinated get tested on a regular basis. But it’s critical that districts come up with plans to make testing available on-site and at no cost. What we have not supported is a vaccine mandate,” NYSUT added.
Setting aside the union’s embrace of choice (something they fight against when parents want to send their kids to public school alternatives), there’s plenty of hypocrisy in such a stance. Remember some of these gems?
…the notion that only the callous and the cruel would ask teachers to return to school has become something of a meme in the edusphere. As an CNN op-ed by teacher Elana Rabinowitz proclaimed, “I teach public school. I love my students. I don’t want to die.” In a tack that must surely have prompted an eye-roll or two among some of the nurses or first responders busy working a second shift as homeschool parents, Rabinowitz thundered, “We want to be there for the kids, especially now. But who will be there for us—the educators? The ones who … are literally being asked to risk our lives so the economy could go back to normal?”
Other educators have weighed in to insist that demanding “teachers return to in-person schooling shows a callous disregard for teachers, their families and the communities they serve.” They’ve said that they “want to serve the students, but it’s hard to say you’re going to sacrifice all of the teachers, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers and bus drivers.”
As Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote:
Teachers, whose entire professional mission is to educate and keep kids safe, won’t require the vaccine among themselves. (This after the union didn’t want teachers in the classroom for nearly a year.) Let that sink in.
Yet another argument for public school alternatives.