After 10 months of online learning, the nearly 400,000 students at Chicago’s public institutions had the chance to return to school on Monday, Jan. 11, to have real contact with peers and teachers. Many of them were unable to do so because more than a hundred teachers refused to show up because the union representing them argued that the pandemic situation creates “unsafe” work environments.
The Chicago Teachers’ Union, as reported by The Blaze, conducted an aggressive campaign against the state government’s announced school reopening plans. The arguments are basically the same as those that Democrats and sectors of the left have made since the CCP Virus arrived. In short, they said that the pandemic creates risky exposure for workers.
What neither the union nor the teachers who follow its orders mention is the risk to the physical and mental health of millions of children and adolescents who cannot attend school, and that their only contact with peers and teachers is through a screen, as long as they are among the lucky ones who have access to computers.
Return to face-to-face learning—maybe
According to the Chicago Tribune, after 10 months of silence, education authorities presented a plan to resume, albeit slowly, face-to-face learning.
Phase One of the plan began Monday, when students enrolled in the district’s preschool and special needs programs were scheduled to return to in-person learning.
But unfortunately the education authority had to report that a quarter of the teachers and staff who were supposed to return to school this week refused to do so. That’s 915 teachers plus support staff.
Of the teachers who were absent on Monday, an estimated 678 teachers “had no excuse for being absent,” according to the local WBEZ-FM. It was also reported that 145 of them will be disciplined with financial penalties and some even removed from their virtual classrooms.
Executive Director Janice Jackson had warned last week that teachers who refused to report would face disciplinary action.
“People who refuse to report to work and who will be considered truant will face progressive discipline under CPS policy,” Jackson told WBEZ-FM.
The Trump administration and its science advisers, from the beginning of the pandemic, criticized the attitude of the left and the unions to keep educational institutions closed.
President Trump himself repeatedly criticized e-learning and said it proved to be terrible compared to the traditional learning method. He also implied several times that there would be no reason for the state to continue sending funds if educational institutions did not remain open.
In addition, numerous scientific studies support President Trump and those who promote a return to school.
Are children and teens propagators of the virus?
Such is the case with Dr. Emily Oster, an economist at Brown University in Rhode Island, who analyzed data from about 200,000 children in 47 states and concluded that elementary and secondary schools are not super-propagators of the CCP Virus as the media and some Democratic leaders have been reporting recently, Breitbart reported.
The economist analyzed the data from two weeks in September and the results were really encouraging: among 1000 children only 1.3 of them were infected, while among teachers 2.2 out of 1000 people tested positive for the CCP virus.
Oster said, “Fear and bad press slowed down or canceled school reopening elsewhere. Many large urban school districts chose not to open for in-person instruction, even in places with relatively low positivity rates.”
The same data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), show that the virus is more deadly for people over 65 and with pre-existing conditions, while healthy children and youth appear to be more resistant and the effect of the virus on them is similar to that of a seasonal flu. It should be noted that most teachers have retired by the time they reach the “age of risk.”