Would I die for my students?
Teachers have placed themselves in harm's way for their students countless times.
But, not like this.
Not in a situation where decisions could be made that would keep our students and educators safe.
A 61 year old educator in Arizonza was infected with COVID19, along with two other educators who were working in the same classroom. She died.They still don't know if she got it from her family, and bought it into the classroom, or if she contracted it from another teacher.
It doesn't matter. With all the precautions, all three teachers were still infected.
Our "Secretary of Education" Besty Devos states that we shouldn't worry.
“If there’s a short-term flare-up for a few days, that’s a different situation than planning for an entire school year in anticipation for something that hasn’t happened,” she told CNN host Dana Bash. “Kids have got to be back at school, they’ve got to be back in the classroom. Working families have got to have their kids back in school.”
What do you notice?
I notice that she does not mention the fact that educators or school personnel can get sick. I notice that she is worried about two things. Kids have to go to school and their working parents need to have them in school. No education personnel are mentioned.
What do you wonder?
I wonder if she cares if educators, or any staff member,that works in the school, becomes ill or dies?
I wonder if she thinks we are dispensable?
I miss seeing the kids face to face.
But none of those emotions are reasons to be sent into a classroom when our safety cannot be guaranteed. A situation where there are more questions than answers.
My heart bleeds for the teacher who has to go to work. It's easy to say don't go.
But when you have to feed your family, the rent or mortgage is due, the bills have to be paid, and you are told to report to work, what are your options?
Take a minute to read this article from NEA,"Returning Safely to In-Person Instruction:What Educators Need to Know" to get an idea of what your rights are.
Remember the good old days?
Everyone thought teachers were heroes?
Now they want us to be martyrs.
Would I die for my students? Probably.
But not from COVID-19.