Teachers’ union tweets ‘push to reopen schools is rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny’—then deletes

In a now-deleted tweet, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) claimed Sunday afternoon that “the push to reopen schools is rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny.”

Backlash against the union’s disturbing words caused CTU to post a new tweet: “Fair enough. Complex issue. Requires nuance. And much more discussion. More important, the people the decision affects deserve more. So we’ll continue [to] give them that. Appreciate the feedback of those truly in the struggle.”

Given the data that show keeping children out of school is harmful and that school closures have disproportionately affected students of color, “it would be more accurate to say that the push to keep schools closed is racist and sexist,” writes Robby Soave for The Reason Foundation.

To say that sexism, racism, or any other -ism is at the “root” of the (thus far unsuccessful) reopening push is absurd and insulting. Stressed-out parents who want to send their kids back to the classroom are not motivated by animus toward teachers, and they are certainly not motivated by animus toward women or minorities. Indeed, many people who want schools to reopen are women and minorities. Pandemic-related closures have disproportionately affected inner-city families that rely on public education. Young kids of color are some of the hardest hit. More than 800,000 women have dropped out of the work force during the pandemic, in large part because they now have to take care of their kids.

Several studies have linked school reopening decisions to teachers’ union influence, “who have lobbied district officials to stick with virtual education even as other essential employees return to work,” continues Soave.

It’s worth recalling that the effort to keep schools closed is not grounded in science: Everyone from Anthony Fauci to Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) agrees that many districts should move toward reopening on a case-by-case basis. The evidence shows that classrooms are not a significant source of spread for COVID-19.