A middle school teacher spoke to Good Morning America after her post on Facebook went viral.
The teacher, who asked to be referred to as Sarah over fears of reprimand from her school district, said she is fed up with the back-to-school debate raging across the country.
Sarah F. calls the whole conversation about returning to school a lose-lose situation.
"Returning to the classroom is dangerous," Sarah said.
In a post she wrote on Facebook she said, in part,: "We know kids rely on school for social/emotional education, support, food, safety, academics, love, and a host of other things," she said. "We also know virtual education doesn't work for the vast majority of students. Some sort of hybrid model of in-person and virtual learning is a disaster of logistics for everyone."
Sarah said she is "really, really scared" to go back to the classroom. She said she loves her students but not more than her own life or family.
"Our (teachers') lives have value," she said.
For people who argue that students will fall behind if they're not in the classroom, she said they're missing the point.
"Kids are resilient," she said. "They will catch up. But you can't bring a child or a teacher back from the dead."
You can read Sarah's entire Facebook post below:
"Long Post Warning ...but let me start by saying I am SO, SO pissed about the conversations surrounding going back to school
This is a lose/lose situation anyway you look it. Returning to the classroom is dangerous (don't even try to convince me it's not because I'll rip you a new one) but we KNOW kids rely on school for social/emotional education/support, food, safety, academics, love, and a host of other things. We are educators - it's what we do!
We also KNOW virtual education doesn't work for the vast majority of students. Especially special education students (um, hello... EC teacher here)! We get that too.
Some sort of hybrid model of in-person and virtual learning is a disaster of logistics for everyone. The schools, parents, daycares, teachers and kids. And you KNOW no one is planning on increasing the funding for schools to help with coordinating any of this or making it easier or safer. Teachers are going to see their workload double or triple to pull this off with zero additional compensation. And teachers already aren't paid what we're worth or respected by society. So, I'm sorry I'm not killing myself to do two jobs for the price of one.
And thinking about what happens when a kid or a teacher is exposed to COVID is to go down a very deep, very dark rabbit hole of possibilities. Not enough subs. Who has to quarantine and for how long? I've been told in my district we can use our sick leave or FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) if we have to be out. Well, after two maternity leaves in the last four years I don't have sick leave. And I'm sorry I didn't plan on a global pandemic when I decided to have kids. And FMLA won't pay me. So I'm just supposed to not get paid if I'm exposed? WTF? And I'll be damned if anyone thinks I'm going to work virtually from home if I'm required to quarantine but not getting paid for it. That. Is. Not. Happening.
I am so sick of being expected to be some sort of martyr because I decided to be a teacher. And if you give me that, "you knew what you were getting into when you decided to be a teacher" crap I've got a whole host of things to say to you - none of which you're going to like. This is like the gun control debate. I'm supposed to just jump in front of a bullet if some one decides to shoot up my school to save my students because of the government's failure to act on gun control and now I'm just expected to risk my life getting COVID because of the government's failure to act on this pandemic? I. Don't. Think. So. This isn't my fault. It's not teacher's(sic) fault!
Returning to school is going to be a disaster and it didn't have to be this way. Any inkling of national leadership on this pandemic could have prevented this cluster. If morons (that's right - I called you a moron) who believe this is some hoax and refuse to wear masks would take one millisecond to consider caring about anyone other than themselves by wearing a mask and staying home and listening to the recommendations of actual medical professionals rather than a mentally deranged psychopathic autocrat who thinks he's playing at being president could have PREVENTED this!!!
And lastly screw capitalism and the worship of the almighty dollar. This country's sick obsession with wealth over lives gets people killed. Teachers are going to die. Students are going to die. So when do we decide how many deaths will be enough before we back pedal?
I love teaching. I love my students. But guess what? I don't love my students or teaching more than I love my own kids or the rest of my family or my own life. I will not sacrifice myself and I won't feel guilty. I also don't plan on stepping off of my soap box any time soon. I will be angry about this for a long, long time.