A group of Berkeley parents are preparing to stage a sit-in at Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ elementary school to demand that schools reopen “as soon as public health officials deem it safe,” according to a news release.
The protest, slated for the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 13, at Thousand Oaks Elementary School in Berkeley, is framed by advocates for reopening schools as a call against “discrimination in the access of education in California,” the release said.
But Berkeley teachers continue to remain wary of a wider school reopening, especially as the pandemic once again reaches a breaking point in the Bay Area and the state at large. Intensive care unit capacity in the Bay Area has dropped to just 0.7% as of Monday.
“It’s very difficult to focus on returning to in-person instruction when California is setting grim records with each passing day,” said Berkeley Federation of Teachers President Matt Meyer during a school board meeting earlier this month. “Headlines and ongoing restrictions on daily life have a huge influence on how our members think about working in close quarters with many students.”
Meyer told SFGATE that the union is currently negotiating with the school district on how to reopen “in person with our students when it is safe.”
A group called ‘Guerrila Momz’ then followed Matt Miller and caught him out on a double standard, tweeting, “Meet Matt Meyer. “White man with dreads and president of the local teachers’ union. He’s been saying it is unsafe for *your kid* to be back at school, all the while dropping his kid off at private school.”
Parent groups are crying “hypocrisy” after a video surfaced showing the president of the Berkeley teachers union dropping off his two-year-old daughter at an in-person preschool.
Matt Meyer, president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, has fought for what he called the “gold standard” for the teachers he represents — saying Berkeley schools should only reopen to in-person learning when educators are vaccinated, among other criteria.
“It’s completely opposite of what he’s pushing,” said Jonathan Zachreson, the founder of Reopen California Schools, which counts Berkeley parents among many of its members. “So why is that safe for him and those people who work there (at the preschool), but not for all of the kids in Berkeley Unified and the teachers? The answer is: It is safe.”
Or, as Guerilla Momz put it, “It wouldn’t be Berkeley if we weren’t gaslighting the actual victims, while pretending to advocate for them.”
Matt Meyer is claiming that he’s advocating for teachers by keeping schools closed, but he has the right to do whatever he wants.
Meyer said that his job is to advocate for the will of the teachers in his union, and where he sends his own children is a “personal choice.”
It’s a personal choice, but it’s a pity that the public school system is designed to prevent people from making personal choices.
Everyone should have a choice between private schools and the broken corrupt public school system that exists for the benefit of teachers’ unions by passing school vouchers.
Taxpayers should be able to fund students, not systems, as their personal choice.