American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten says she’s “not convinced” by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance calling for three, instead of six, feet of distance between schoolchildren.
Weingarten has no scientific basis for her skepticism, just an expedient case of paranoia and a job that requires she advocate continuing to pass the costs of the pandemic on to America’s children. As Jim Geraghty has pointed out, there is a broad scientific consensus that three feet is safe. Moreover, the virus poses little health risk to children, and teachers around the country are being or already have been vaccinated.
So Weingarten is stuck embarrassing herself making arguments like this:
With the guidance that students can be 3 feet apart from each other but adults should remain 6 feet from children or other adults, what is the expectation for the teacher in a classroom—that she remain in one spot at the front of the room the entire day, not moving about the classroom?
At this point, most parents would be willing to have educators held Clockwork Orange–style at the front of the classroom if that’s what they needed to do to end the physical and emotional suffering of their kids, induced first by the pandemic and extended by maliciously opportunistic profiteers such as Weingarten. Rightly so.
Compare this fawning New York Times profile casting Weingarten as “The Union Leader Who Says She Can Get Teachers Back in Schools,” with her intransigent and illogical pseudo-arguments, and you’ll see that not only is Weingarten a cynical and ruthless opponent of American children’s best interests, but that she’s also been doted on by a press corps that is all too willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a core Democratic constituency.
Weingarten counsels that we not “rush” into trusting the new CDC guidelines and improving both the educational outcomes and mental health of American children. We’re late, not early, to “trusting the science” on school reopenings, as well as to being forthright about what it is Weingarten does for a living.