States and school districts around the country are debating what to do about opening schools this fall. Some teachers and their unions are threatening to strike if forced to go back to work earlier than they believe is safe.
The ongoing fight is prompting parents, policymakers, and observers to ask: Aren’t teachers essential workers?
That position was laid out in an op-ed in The Atlantic on Tuesday by Kristen McConnell, a New York nurse and writer.
McConnell’s “I’m a Nurse in New York. Teachers Should Do Their Jobs, Just Like I Did.” piece demanded to know why teachers should not have to go back to work at the very schools our government — and the teachers from those schools — have long claimed are essential to keeping our society functioning.
She began by noting that her husband is a New York City public-school teacher who is adamantly against a teacher strike and “understands on a deep, personal level his duty to serve his country in the classroom.” He knows, McConnell wrote, that she, as a nurse caring for COVID-19 victims, had a role fill for the nation’s well-being and that he also has a similar role to play – READ MORE
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