More liberals are turning against school closures -- and teachers unions too?

More liberals are turning against school closures -- and teachers unions too?
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Big question mark on the “and teachers unions too” part. Democrats can’t survive without union support. Whatever rift ends up opening between the party and the degenerates who voted last night to harm kids in Chicago will be papered over in time.

But if perceptions grow among Democratic voters that the unions don’t have their kids’ best interests at heart, that could make for some interesting electoral politics.

This plea from one well-known liberal doesn’t surprise me. Axelrod is a political operative and knows how closures are apt to play at the ballot box. We’ve already had proof of concept from the Virginia gubernatorial election. The GOP is going to grind the Chicago vote in Democrats’ faces, and they’ll deserve it. Ax tried to get ahead of that:

This one surprised me a little, although I don’t know if Morning Joe quite qualifies as a liberal:

This one surprised me more:

And this one surprised me a lot given the source, although maybe it shouldn’t have. Nikole Hannah-Jones, union enemy?

“I’m sorry, but teachers are not the only stakeholders and I’m kind of tired of the conversation going this way,” she tweeted elsewhere. Hannah-Jones doubtless knows that it’s low-income kids who’ll suffer the most from school closures because they don’t have the tech equipment at home to switch over easily to remote learning. But even so, it’s jarring to see a leftist grumbling about labor flexing its muscle in a spat with the city. The plain truth here turns out to be inescapable even for the mastermind of the 1619 Project, that it’s ludicrous for teachers to walk out in protest of kids not being tested for COVID when every educator in the country has been eligible for vaccination for months. If you’re a teacher who’s worried about catching the virus, get boosted. You’ll have a mild case when you do. End of debate.

Meanwhile, spare us the self-congratulation about how important your job is to society given your disinterest in doing it. Walmart cashiers have been on the job every day for two years with customers breathing in their faces because they need to make ends meet and because someone has to run the checkout aisle. Same goes for meatpackers, cops, and a thousand other front-line professions, only a few of which could plausibly stake a claim to be as important to America’s future as teachers are and only a very few of which involve the care and development of children. Yet only one profession reliably balks at doing its duty despite having been prioritized for early COVID vaccination and having received enormous gobs of money from Uncle Same this past year to make their workplaces safer. It’s somehow the most important job in the world yet also the least important.

Chicago teachers bragged on Facebook about potentially being eligible to receive reimbursements for sick days they scheduled for Wednesday, which they no longer need to take because of the closing. Fourth-grade teacher Jessica Witt posted that the district should “run me back my sick days.”

“I feel no pain. They can cancel school until June and I’ll be fine,” Derrick Colon, who identifies himself on Facebook as a Chicago Public Schools dean, replied to a post in the union’s private Facebook page. “Been training for this moment all my life.”

They’re leeches who don’t care about kids. Their assessment of their risk from being around students who haven’t been tested is so grossly incongruous with the actual risk that they’re either deliberately goldbricking and using COVID as an excuse or they’re still so ignorant of the dynamics of the virus after two years that they can’t rationally gauge the threat. Either way, they shouldn’t be instructing children in anything.

Which is not to say they’re all of a piece:

Notably, some of the doctors whom I follow on social media and who are typically known for encouraging restrictions to contain COVID have also begun pounding the table lately to keep schools open. Case in point:

No one has been more outspoken in the last few days than Leana Wen, a frequent CNN contributor who spent most of the past year demanding that the rules be tightened on the unvaccinated to force them to get their shots. She’s also been an advocate for vaccinating kids, something even many vaxxed parents are wary of. But Wen has been logically consistent this week: Having pushed hard to get teachers and students immunized, she’s done with excuses for keeping schools closed. They’re plenty safe, and as safe as they’re going to get. Everything else is noise.

Enough’s enough. The goldbricking by the unions is extracting a severe developmental and psychological cost on the most vulnerable element of society, kids. That cost has been amply documented by the media over the last few months, to its credit. And yet: “More schools closed and went remote across the U.S. within the past few days than at any other time this academic year, leaving communities rushing to reorganize in the wake of what are often last minute decisions.” Whatever needs to be done to get teachers back on the job — docking their pay, taking away their vacation days, firing a few pour encourager les autres — do it.

I’ll leave you with this notable clip from another influential liberal, Biden’s COVID czar, Jeff Zients. He indirectly addressed the Chicago teachers’ walkout during this morning’s CDC briefing and, although polite, made clear how unjustifiable he thinks it is. Teachers got to cut the line for vaccines, they got showered with federal cash to make their classrooms safer, and the kids they’re supposed to be educating are sinking deeper into a learning-loss hole with each day they’re off the job. No more excuses. Get back to work, parasites.

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