My Thoughts Regarding Re-opening Schools
I previously posted a statement on social media that I received from the VBEA stating that they are opposed to schools reopening this fall. The attacks toward me in the comment section were interesting. People saying that I no longer support teachers is absolutely incorrect. I want to share a portion of an e-mail that I received from a teacher asking us to reopen schools:
“I had a sad FaceTime conversation with one of my… students. She has my cell number because communicating with her during virtual learning was easier than Zoom. As we started talking her tears began to flow. She told me she was so worried about school next year and what it was going to be like. She sits at home alone a lot and doesn't get out to see friends. She misses school so much and wants to go back so bad.”
For all of those people with the VBEA saying that I don’t listen to teachers, the VBEA only represents a small portion of VB Schools employees. I’m also listening to all sides, including the large number of teachers who feel that it is in the best interest of the students to return to the classroom this fall. I have talked with many pediatricians and other physicians who have stated that the negative aspects of not having in-person learning far outweigh the impacts of COVID.
I still support our employees and I also support our parents and students. I support choice. I support those who want to opt-in their students to in-person learning but I also support those who want to opt-in to full time meaningful virtual learning. For our employees who have documented health conditions, options are being provided per the “reopening plans” provided by HR and I support our HR department for making those accommodations. Other plans for paid leave have also been put into place for anyone who has been exposed to COVID or must care for family members who have been exposed (see reopening plans for further details). I also support the division providing appropriate PPE to our staff.
I support our teachers and employees, but I do not support the VBEA. Last year when I was advocating for teacher working conditions related to student discipline problems, fighting and school safety the VBEA leadership filed a complaint against me, rather than helping me. They were not happy because I was exposing what was really happening behind the scenes. I have not seen the VBEA do anyting to help with teacher concerns related to student discipline problems and school safety?
For those stating that the VBEA is not a union and that there is no collective bargaining—you are incorrect. They are (by their own admission) a union and collective bargaining can also now be allowed in Virginia based on new legislation just passed.
7/20/2020 06:05:04 am
Thank you for being transparent and sharing your true thoughts. It’s so hard to get that these days. I appreciate knowing what the school/HR is planning or trying to prepare while you work out this decision. Choice is the best option! VBEA has been silent on so many levels and their support for teachers in private matters is minimal at best. Please continue to fight for all of us.
7/21/2020 06:22:52 am
Alyse! I agree 100%. Almost all the teachers I know DO want to go back. A full shutdown sets a terrible precedent that will inevitably lead to future budget cuts resulting in position cuts and job losses (I can't understand why so many teachers can't see this outcome). I agree as well about VBEA, I haven't heard a single story of them truly helping teachers. Paying dues to them is like throwing money away.
7/20/2020 06:31:43 am
Thank you for the consideration for all!
7/20/2020 05:57:12 pm
Thank you for providing your thoughts in this difficult situation. I appreciate your concern for students and staff as we navigate these ever changing and unforeseen times.
7/21/2020 06:15:53 am
There are no active cases of children through age 19 with Covid in any of the reports that have been disseminated. How do you justify keeping a child away from the education that they desperately need. Do you see the anarchy we have and so many of these streets? Do you not understand that that’s because of a lack of education? They aren’t getting the real America and they need to be back in school where they can get that vital information. Thank you Victoria for being truthful and putting forth the best effort for our Virginia Beach City schools children. There are some parents, unfortunately, that are not teachers and cannot give the child the guidance that they truly need. A couple of hours of education in front of the TV or off the laptop doesn’t do it. Also if you’re not going to be attending school, what’s going to happen to the budget surely you know that it has to be adjusted because you will not need all the budget money allocated to have children in front of a laptop a couple hours
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