The American Federation for Teachers and their president Randi Weingarten have finally said that they want to have all public schools open again in the fall
But in a new interview on MSNBC with Nicole Wallace, Weingarten said that she was worried about outbreaks so she wanted to keep kids in elementary schools in masks.
You can watch the video here:
— Dr. Nickarama (@nickaramaOG) May 22, 2021
Weingarten then attacked states that had eliminated mask mandates, “The politics have been as such that states like Texas and Iowa then rush to say no mask mandates when we still don’t have a vaccine that’s okay for elementary school students and we’ve seen what happened in India in terms of the variants and young kids.”
Weingarten claimed they didn’t want to be the “mask police” so they wanted guidance from the CDC on what to do. “In elementary schools, until we have the vaccines, it seems like, unfortunately, we still going to have to keep wearing our masks and keep social distancing because we don’t want outbreaks.” This, despite the record of transmission in elementary schools and elementary age kids being very low.
Weingarten talked about Texas and Iowa in the interview with MSNBC. Iowa just said no mask mandates for schools ,so one can’t yet make a judgement as to the potential effect or lack of effect from the action. But Texas has had no mask mandates since March 2, and the cases have continued to drop.
Today Texas reported:
* 0 Covid related deaths–the only time that's happened since data was tracked in March, 2020.
* the fewest Covid cases in over 13 months
* the lowest 7-day Covid positivity rate ever
* the lowest Covid hospitalizations in 11 months.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 17, 2021
Texas schools had decided for themselves if they wanted to have masks or not. Gov. Abbott just banned mask mandates in schools. But his ban doesn’t prevent people from wearing masks if they want to; it just prohibits mandates. And if teachers and staff are vaccinated, then their chances of catching the virus are also low.
As we reported, fourth grader John Provenzano pointed out some of the problems with the mask mandate in his school in Florida, and the school has just voted to go mask optional for the fall.
Weingarten sent a letter to the CDC questioning their recent guidance and asking how that now applies to masking among other things.
But Weingarten had a response to the trauma that kids may have experienced over the past year — having the school control even more things. “You wrap services around schools so that you can deal with the trauma when it arises, wherever it arises.” She said they should have schools open 10-12 hours a day, suggesting that they could have mental health services, mentioning a school that even had dental services.
How about they just stick to providing some basic teaching and getting that right, rather than taking over things and completely controlling our kids?
“Teachers are tired; they are exhausted. We have to find a way to repair and nourish them as well as families in terms of attracting and retaing our teaching force.” @rweingarten
— AFT (@AFTunion) May 21, 2021
What are they tired from? Teaching from home? Maybe the kids who still can’t get proper schooling are “tired.” Maybe that should be you uppermost concern?
Finally, maybe if you’re the AFT and are involved in teaching kids, try to spell “elementary” and “unfortunately” correctly in your tweets.
“In elementrary schools, until we have the vaccines, it seems like unfortuantely we still going to have to keep wearing our masks and keep social distancing because we don’t want outbreaks.” @rweingarten
— AFT (@AFTunion) May 21, 2021