Here's the Coronavirus Protocol One Teachers' Union is Demanding Schools Implement this Fall

Posted: Jul 13, 2020 6:15 PM
Here's the Coronavirus Protocol One Teachers' Union is Demanding Schools Implement this Fall

Source: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

New Jersey’s largest teachers’ union has some specific health demands it wants met before schools return to in-person instruction this fall. In a document obtained by reporter Alex Berenson, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) calls for required testing of all students and staff the week prior to the start of school, mandatory testing on a weekly basis after that, and “door-to-door” mask wearing, from the bus to school and back home again.  

Additional requirements would include daily temperature and wellness checks, social distancing, physical barriers in classrooms and on buses as needed, staggered lunchtimes, and the elimination of buffet-style food service.  

The proposed stipulations come even as the CDC has stated that it "does not recommend universal testing of all students and staff.” The CDC has also noted that based on available evidence, most children “do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults.” In fact, statistics from the Center have shown that school-aged children are one of the age groups least at risk of dying of COVID-19: those under 15 years old are 43 times less likely to die of the disease than those aged 25–34.

The demands took heat from conservatives on social media, some of whom called the plan "child abuse" and warned it would "traumatize" children. 

The NJEA’s demands are emblematic of the controversy raging over reopening schools this fall. President Trump has expressed his belief in getting students back in the classroom and has threatened to withhold federal funding for those who don’t reopen, a position Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has echoed.

But others, like the National Education Association, have pushed back on the Trump Administration’s calls.

“I double dog dare Donald Trump to sit in a class of 39 sixth graders and breathe that air without any preparation for how we’re going to bring our kids back safely,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia told CNN in a recent interview. She also said the White House’s stance on reopening schools was one of the reasons the organization was backing Joe Biden in the presidential race.

In the end, going back to school this fall might come down to whether parents think that it is worth sending their children into an environment with such strict guidelines--or they may opt out all together.