The president of a Berkeley teachers’ union is now being labeled a “hypocrite” after being seen dropping his daughter off for in-person instruction at a private preschool despite leading the charge against opening public schools.
Matt Meyer, president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, was caught on camera dropping his two-year-old daughter off at a private preschool weeks after unveiling his union’s plans to delay reopening in his district until teachers are vaccinated and other improvements are made to the schools—a plan which he called “the Gold Standard.” The tentative agreement between the union and the Berkeley Federation of Teachers was reached in mid-February, and would allow students up to second grade to return to class March 29, while the rest of the students would return in blocks throughout April [Berkeleyside].
The video was filmed by a group called “Guerilla Momz”, who uploaded the video to YouTube and shared it on their Twitter page. Though the video blurs out the face of Meyer’s daughter, Meyer still views it as an invasion of privacy, he said in a text message to local news station KQED. He also stated that one of the people following him and his daughter “scared my kid and the others in the vicinity.” Guerilla Momz declined to name the members who filmed the video, as well as the preschool, for fear of retaliation. The video is being used to paint Meyer as a hypocrite [KQED].
Jonathan Zachreson, founder of Reopen California Schools, responded by saying, “Why is that safe for him and those people who work there, but not for all of the kids in Berkeley Unified and the teachers? The answer is: It is safe.” Meyer responded to hypocrisy in a message to KQED, saying, “I have my two-year-old in preschool. Unfortunately, there are not public schools for kids her age. We are excited that we will be reopening soon with a plan that our members and the district supports.” Superintendent of Schools Brent Stevens said in an email to the Berkeley community “We will need each other in order to stay safe. Looking to what’s ahead of us … nothing is served by treating members of our community, including our teachers – and the teacher who represents them as their union president – as the enemy.” The plan to vaccinate teachers and return in-person education is still proceeding on schedule, according to KGO-TV in Berkeley.
ARTICLE: RICHARD TILLMAN
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE FEDERALIST