It's time to take seriously teachers' refusal to teach
In Democrat-run cities across America, teachers are demanding priority access to vaccines and refusing to return to their classrooms. The big fights are in Chicago, Montclair (New Jersey), and California, where the teachers are insisting on working only from home. Other school systems have only partial in-class teaching (e.g., Texas, Florida, and New York). Conservatives are reflexively pushing for a return to classroom teaching, but perhaps they should push in the other direction: let's end public schools entirely.
Before I go any farther, I'd better apologize to those readers who are intelligent, dedicated teachers who do not think theirs is the hardest job in the world, that they receive the lowest salary of any employee ever, or that they are uniquely vulnerable to the Wuhan virus despite evidence that classrooms are not dangerous virus spreaders. This post is not about you. This post is about teachers who use their classrooms to indoctrinate the captive young people in their charge with leftist values.
In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is engaged in an epic battle with the teachers' union to force them back into schools. So far, the teachers are winning with remote "learning" extended for at least two more days — and with the City having backed down from its threat to lock computer teaching access for those teachers who don't return to their classrooms. In California, teachers' unions are refusing to re-open schools until every single teacher is vaccinated.
The reason why teachers can take this stand is that they're still getting their paychecks. While non-government workers are desperate to get back on the job so that they can buy food and shelter their families, teachers keep getting their paychecks even as students languish at home, isolated, alienated, depressed, and suicidal.
Conservatives rightly resent what's happening. They support getting teachers back to work, but I'd like to suggest a different approach: shut down the public schools in these cities, give parents vouchers, and let the free market do its magic. Some parents might homeschool; some might do learning pods; some might reinvigorate parochial schools or other religious academies. The point is that parents would finally have a say in what their children are learning — and good teachers would find a broad variety of employment opportunities.
More than that, parents would have a say in preventing their students from being on the receiving end of leftist indoctrination. For example, parents might have a say about the content of Black Lives Matter week at the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The LAUSD has on its website a colorful five-page graphic talking about what students should be learning from February 1 through 5, which is the "week of action" for "black lives matter at schools." It's a dangerous thing to say nowadays, but I believe that all lives matter. I also believe that, if I say one race matters without mentioning the others, I am impliedly saying that the others don't, which is a sentiment I cannot support. So, right off the bat, if my children were still in school, I would resent mightily having the BLM agenda — a purely Marxist concept that substitutes race for class — foisted on them.
It's not just that, though. What's being taught through the BLM curriculum is the whole panoply of hard-left thought, which substitutes illusory restorative justice for the rule of law, makes race (something over which people have no control) the single most important thing about the individual, pushes kids into becoming political activists, and — most disturbingly — advances the transgender myth.
People who believe they are the opposite of their biological sex or that they can change sex with the phases of the moon are every bit as mentally ill as anorexics or others with body dysmorphia. It's a tragic condition that should be dealt with compassionately. It should not be foisted as reality on young children. That's as bad as treating anorexics with diet pills and stomach-stapling.
Nevertheless, page three of the handout for the LAUSD says that Wednesday, February 3 is going to be "Trans-Affirming, Queer-Affirming, and Collective Value" day. Elementary classrooms are encouraged to do a "woke read aloud: They, She, He: Easy as ABC," to explore "gender stereotypes through role plays," and to read It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A book about gender identity. (By the way, have you noticed that all so-called transgender men invariably traffic in hyper-feminine gender stereotypes, along the lines of Marilyn Monroe?)
This is not education; it's indoctrination, and the teachers' cowardice in the face of the Wuhan virus is the perfect opportunity to bring an end to this madness. Public schools have gotten too big and too political. If Democrats could use the Wuhan virus to upend America, conservatives should be able to use it to strike down a toxic system that employs too many people more interested in advocacy than in education.