Transcript for How US Schools can open safely
As the national conversation continues on how to reopen schools safely, president of the national education association is demanding education secretary Betsy Devos cancel her political events and focus on reopening schools safely, also calling the administration's plans to reopen schools appallingly reckless. Joining me now is the president of the national education association, lily Eskelsen Garcia. Thank you for being with us. Tell us more about these demands that you recently made to education secretary Betsy Devos. What do you want to happen? I'm a sixth grade teacher. I represent over 3 million teachers and school staff like school secretaries, bus drivers, custodians, any one of us is more qualified to be helping to open schools safely than Betsy Devos. I just have to say, we are totally mystified by someone who has said -- like nothing, there's no plan about opening schools safely. Only threats and orders all of a sudden to thousands and thousands of school districts. There is no authority that she or Donald Trump has to order schoolteachers and staff to do anything and the threat that if you don't open your schools all on time, all students all day long in the same classroom, that we'll take your special Ed funding, your school lunch funding, the funding that comes from the federal government. It makes absolutely no sense. It's a recipe for chaos and they don't seem to understand that they're not our boss. That teachers are not going to take any orders that put our children at risk, we're going to do it right, we're working with schoolboards, we're working with county health professionals, it's not easy. It's not cheap. Lily, I want to ask you, what would you say to teachers out there who are afraid to go back to school with all of these unanswered questions? I have told my members, I've told parents, I'm telling everyone within the sound of my voice, ignore Donald Trump and Betsy Devos. Just ignore them. Put them way over there somewhere. Make them white noise. When you listen to them, it's not good for children and other living things. Just do what you need to do. They are not going to help you. Get the senate to move and get the funding that we need. But do not expect any help to come from the white house. And the politicians from the highest office don't seem to understand that we would become a germ factory, a hot bed of kids infecting each other, going home infecting their parents, maybe their grandparents, teachers dying. The school custodian overwhelmed. Why? Why in the world aren't they helping us? So I have stopped asking that question. I don't know why they want to put everyone in harm's way. I have no idea. Makes no sense to me at all. We'll do what we have to do. Well, your passion for the safety and well-being of your students and your fellow teachers is very evident. Lily Eskelsen Garcia, thank you so much for being with us. Thank you.
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