The nationwide debate about the safety of reopening schools is far from over.
In certain states, schools are set to resume this fall. Some of these reopenings will happen part-time or with operational requirements that must be adhered to, such as wearing face masks.
Left-wing teachers’ unions have largely pushed back against the reopening of schools. These unions claim that risk of coronavirus transmission is too dangerous, yet also urge for various leftist proposals to pass into law before schools are reopened.
It turns out that the Trump administration isn’t having it. Yesterday, the current White House administration deemed teachers as essential workers, hence further paving the path for schools to reopen this fall, confirms Fox News.
Teachers as Essential Workers: Everything You Should Know
Earlier this week, Vice President Mike Pence informed America’s governors that teachers are now classified as essential workers. Pence also explained that while the classification doesn’t impose a mandate upon teachers, it does prioritize them to receive various types of assistance and personal protective equipment.
Kayleigh McEnany: “We believe teachers are essential workers … our meat packers didn't stop working didn't this pandemic … nor should our teachers." pic.twitter.com/AGhfkXTB0W
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) August 22, 2020
Despite leftist teachers’ unions’ opposition to reopening schools, many other teachers do support getting back into classrooms. Educators with this outlook warn that children will suffer mentally, socially, and emotionally without learning in classrooms, being around their peers, etc.
Certain studies have even come forward in recent weeks, citing virtual learning for children as 30% less effective than in-class learning. Advocates of seemingly indefinite classroom closures remain virtually silent about the impact that such shutdowns would have on children’s mental, social, and emotional development.
Reactions from the Public
Many Americans are praising the Trump administration’s decision to cite teachers as essential workers.
The education of children in this country matters; allies and supporters of the president have also pointed out that grocery store employees, police officers, and other workers who provide critical services did not stop laboring due to COVID-19. Therefore, Americans who favor a return to schools believe that there are ways for teachers and students to safely return to classrooms this fall.
We've added teachers to @DHSgov’s list of essential workers & they'll be prioritized for things like PPE & support. We want to get our kids back to school but we want teachers to know, we’re going to make the resources available so schools can be a safe environment for everyone. pic.twitter.com/CRXzlxAqXG
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) August 21, 2020
Critics of the president are claiming that teachers being classified as essential workers could force them into classrooms before they feel ready. However, Trump’s critics are considerably less outspoken about the consequences of keeping children out of classrooms.
Already, studies have shown that less economically-advantaged children, children with disabilities, etc. will have harder times with remote learning. Left-wing teachers’ unions have yet to comment on this matter, though.
Do you agree with the Trump administration’s decision to classify America’s teachers as essential workers? Do you believe that teachers and students can safely return to classrooms this fall? Let us know in the comments section below!