The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that vaccinations for teachers are not required to safely reopen schools.
In a White House press briefing Wednesday morning, the director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said, “there is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated in order to reopen safely.” This new guidance could mean a reopening of schools across the country and a return to in-person learning. However, as seen across the United States, reopening schools has become a controversial subject. In the past few weeks, tension has been rising between teacher unions and people concerned about getting kids back to in-person school.
In places like Chicago and Los Angeles, teacher unions have threatened to go on strike if they’re forced to return to in-person teaching. Public school systems have also said they will prevent teachers from accessing distance learning platforms if they don’t show up to campuses to prepare for the return of in-person learning. This could pose a whole new set of problems for students. As Chicago teacher, Lori Torres said, “I’m comfortable being at home. It’s safer at home. It may not be true for everyone. And we understand that, but the reality is it’s too soon. If it comes to it, I am prepared to strike” (CNN).
Despite calls from teachers to continue with distance learning, many parents are in favor of their kids returning to in-person learning. Parents, politicians, and students themselves are concerned with the quality of the online education they’re receiving. According to Time Magazine, Shalyse Olson, a parent in Salem, Oregon said that virtual learning “has been nothing but frustrating and sad.” In addition, a student in Pennsylvania said, “I find it impossible to actually learn anything new through the distance learning” (NY Times).
ARTICLE: LAUREN GOLLOFON
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NORTHEAST INDIANA PUBLIC RADIO