by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
It’s not enough that public school teachers and the college professors who train them are increasingly prone to teaching leftist absurdities like “2+2=5” or presenting the mendacious 1619 Project as legitimate American history. Teachers unions are now trying to blackmail the entire country into meeting a set of leftist political demands for reopening the schools this fall, using COVID-19 as their excuse.
Of course, the pandemic certainly presents challenges for re-opening schools, but other sectors of society have managed to rise to the occasion over the past several months to keep the country running. Grocery stores clerks, truck drivers, warehouse workers, and of course police, firefighters, doctors, and nurses—all have kept working, sometimes under tough conditions and sometimes at great personal risk.
Then there are teachers unions. More than any other group during this pandemic, teachers unions have shown themselves to be abjectly selfish, hyper-political, and totally intransigent about teaching during the pandemic. They are willing to lie about the science behind COVID-19 transmission and shamelessly stoke fear to advance their partisan agenda. Just about the last thing these unions seem to care about is educating children or helping the country get back on its feet.
On Monday, an alliance of teachers unions and leftist groups in dozens of states staged a “National Day of Resistance,” issuing a series of demands that they say must be met before their members will return to the classroom. What do they want? Rents and mortgages canceled, a “massive infusion of federal money” from “taxing billionaires and Wall Street,” moratoriums on new charter schools and voucher programs and standardized tests, and of course “police-free schools,” among other things.
Some teachers unions have gone a step further.