(JustPatriots.com)- In a speech on Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, attacked teachers’ unions for promoting school closings around the nation during the pandemic.
At the Heritage Foundation’s inaugural “Educational Freedom Report Card” event, the governor accused the unions of exerting political pressure on state legislatures to keep schools closed and outlaw in-person instruction. He claimed that, partly due to political pressure from interest groups that advocated for school closures, several states improved children’s access to education.
The governor stated, “You had to decide whether children even had access to education during COVID, and many of these states decided that that was not something they were ready to fight for.”
He said they did a lot of virtual education over the years, so Florida was better than anyone, but obviously, they had a lot of political pressure from interest groups that teachers’ unions to lock these kids out of the school and force them into things like remote classes, which was not working at all.
Given that schools had a low transmission rate and the virus posed no harm to children, DeSantis said that forcing children to learn only online was “inappropriate” and ineffectual in ensuring they received a suitable education. In response to his decision in June 2020 to reopen schools for the 2020–21 academic year, he said that the unions ignored the statistics and staged demonstrations and antics in front of the Department of Education.
DeSantis continued, saying it was challenging regarding politics, the media, the Left, and the bureaucracy. They did not want to see the kids in school, so they would have these stunts pulled by unions in Florida, where they would bring coffins and put them down in front of the Department of Education building in Florida.
“We had down in Miami, where they would bring hearses and all this stuff and attempt to convince parents that if their children went to school, they would get sick and die. And it was untrue; I believe they were aware of that, but if they weren’t, what does that say about their involvement in education?”
The governor asserted that the welfare of children was his government’s primary concern and that fear and special interest groups would not “guide policy making.”
He asserted that most instructors who were not union members favored a return to in-class instruction.
DeSantis asked what would happen if you committed your life to something, and then a union told you that you weren’t really that necessary and that simply watching Zoom from home would get the same results.
In his opinion, he said the fact that the unions were taking that position was a slap in the face to the entire teaching profession.