If your child did not attend school regularly last year, Randi Weingarten is probably the reason.
No wonder the boss of the American Federation of Teachers launched a hazy media rehabilitation campaign. His PR is working overtime to make us forget that no public actor has done more to harm children, and education in general, in the past year.
Last week, The Washington Post ran an adorable interview with Weingarten, the latest in a series of carefully placed pieces in friendly outlets aimed at mending its shattered reputation. Here she “takes a firm stand”; there she calls “for the reopening of all classrooms next year”.
It’s gas lighting, and the record needs to be restored.
Last September, as schools across the country attempted to open, Weingarten could be counted on to oppose such a move. “If the community spread is too high. . . if you don’t have the testing infrastructure and if you don’t have the safeguards that prevent viruses from spreading around the school, we think you can’t reopen in person, ”Weingarten said.
It was absurd. Other countries had opened their schools a long time ago by that time, and we had real world models to run the school in person. Schools in Europe had opened without masks, social distancing and “testing infrastructure”.
Europeans put children first, safely relying on (scientific) evidence that children are at minimal risk of contracting the virus and spreading it at a much lower rate than adults. Weingarten was determined to put children last.
In February, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was finally going to issue guidelines urging the full reopening of in-person schooling, AFT succeeded in pushing for a language that kept schools closed.
The following month, when the CDC finally did the right thing and changed its social distancing guideline for schools to 3 feet (instead of 6), Weingarten wrote a letter questioning the change and demanding even more concessions. of security “.
Local Weingarten Deputy Chief Mike Mulgrew has followed his anti-child lead throughout the pandemic.
Anti-union parental rage is understandably at its peak, and the prestige press is there to help Weingarten calm it down, with headlines like this one from Politico in May: “Biden Campaign and Teachers Unions Campaign for the return of American children. in classrooms five days a week.
But American children living in areas not under union control were already largely in classrooms five days a week. Even in the cities and blue states, parish and private schools did very well.
Asked about success stories – like Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted union bullying and made sure schools across the state open up for full-time learning – Weingarten regurgitated conspiracy theory often debunked on the Sunshine State somehow hiding its true COVID data.
The Biden administration also, as might be expected, supports Weingarten’s efforts to whitewash its stained image. First Lady Jill Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona both tweeted their support for Weingarten, claiming she had not been the one blocking the school door.
But are Team Biden really sure Weingarten deserves their support?
Who can forget his interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in March, in which Weingarten lied that “virtually all school districts in New York and Connecticut are reopened, many of them reopened in New Jersey” ? In fact, Gotham’s middle and high schools finished the school year still mostly closed, while elementary schools would only open full-time at the end of April, weeks after the interview. Several districts in New Jersey have not opened in-person school at all this year.
In the same interview, Weingarten targeted Jews who dared to question why schools were still closed. Weingarten called them “the property class”. When occasional Marxism, with bizarre anti-Semitic undertones, makes its way into classrooms, it’s not hard to see where it’s coming from.
Weingarten should be held and remembered in the odious: a cowardly, bureaucratic monster who has done everything in his power to keep schools closed – science and kids, to hell.