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Here We Go Again

Just when you think the Covid crap can’t get any worse, something else pops right up.

If you are a longtime reader of Blind Owl Blogs, you know that I have been ranting and raving on behalf of “real teachers” during this whole pandemic. What are real teachers you may ask? A real teacher is one that wants to be at work and wants all of the kids to be there as well.I’ve spent the past 2 years saying that remote learning and school being canceled for Covid reasons is harming kids more than any sickness could.

After that 2 years of nonsense, I finally thought kids being back at school was the norm. Then I wake up this morning and see that the MTA is calling for schools to be closed on Monday January, 3rd.

Here is the statement they put out this morning:

First things first with this statement, I would like to know who is on that Environmental Health and Safety Committee. It better be medical professionals and not just a team of old teachers like the rest of the union leadership is.

Secondly, I don’t claim to be a calendar specialist, but isn’t January 3rd three days away? If the union is so worried about the issue, why don’t they use their seemingly unlimited supply of money and make some testing sites around the state and test themselves. Not sure about other districts, but I know for a fact the ones around me have been off since December 23rd at the latest. These unions have had roughly 10 days to make these decisions and decided to have this big meeting four days before school is supposed to start. A little transparent of them don’t you think?

I hear my union teacher friends saying to me, “What’s one more day?” Anyone that knows how some kids depend on school to get any sort of social interaction would never have the audacity to say that. Not only do some of the kids depend on school for their social life, there are some that depend on school for a consistent food source. Having worked at a public school that had a large amount of economic diversity, I saw that a great number of kids needed school to provide them with 2 of their 3 meals for the day.

Let’s get past the basics. How about the kids that rely on the school nurse and counselors as their only source of medical or psychological help? The MTA, if they are real teachers, should know that the mental health crisis in this country due to the lockdowns and schools being closed for so long is out of control. If a kid is in a crisis situation, one day can make all the difference.

Don’t forget about the parents who care about their kids and want them to go to school to learn. Those parents also have to work. So now you’re telling a parent who may be living paycheck to paycheck to take a day off so these unions can get a Covid test on a workday?

All of this against every teaching instinct I’ve had ingrained in me for the 7 years I’ve been in education.

All of this aside, I thought school districts would be too smart to deal with this again. No self-respecting superintendent is going to shut down school for a whole day to get teachers tested on the district's dime. Then I read that a local district to me is running on a 2 hour delay on Monday morning. I went to the Newburyport Public School’s website to see if this was true and an old school pop-up ad appeared, saying that they are running a 2 hour delay. When I searched for why on their website, I couldn’t find it. I know it is just a 2 hour delay, but this news was announced before the MTA put out this ridiculous demand. I wouldn’t be shocked if the superintendent closed schools later today. And who knows? This could be just the beginning of a trip back to remote learning. Which helped nobody.

For those who don’t know Newburyport, it is on the wealthier side as far as public schools go. But I’m sure there are some kids in the district who need the school for something. Even if it’s just to see their friends again. What about the districts that have a great deal of lower income families? Should they cancel too MTA?

The moral of this story is very simple. The MTA DOES NOT CARE about the kids anymore. Just for a little context, the majority of private schools are open. The MTA has embarrassed itself beyond repair. It is honestly disgusting.

I have one message to parents and others who are sickened like I am about this. Remember that the unions don’t speak for all teachers. The majority of us want to be at school and want to help kids. That’s why we got into the field in the first place. So don’t take it out on us, take your frustration out on the MTA and other big teacher’s unions. They’re the ones who don’t care about your kids.

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