Los Angeles teachers were advised on a private Facebook group not share their spring break vacation pics on social media. Why? Because a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the union is still advocating to keep schools closed, calling a return to in-person learning "unsafe," and teachers partying it up on vacation would ruin that narrative.
In a private Facebook group called UTLA FB GROUP-Members Only, 5,700 members were warned to keep their pics private. According to Fox News, the post read:
"Friendly reminder: If you are planning any trips for Spring Break, please keep that off of Social Media. It is hard to argue that it is unsafe for in-person instruction, if parents and the public see vacation photos and international travel."
The teachers weren't advised not to go on vacation or socialize while continuing to advocate for schools to remain closed due to "unsafe" conditions, they were simply advised not to tell anyone about it. The appearance of hypocrisy was deemed to be way more damning than the hypocrisy itself.
Members of UTLA had voted with a 91 percent majority to keep schools closed to in-person learning. On Friday, Los Angeles Teachers union President Cecily Myart-Cruz released the results of the votes, which were cast over five days. 24,580 ballots were cast, with 22,480 in favor of keeping schools closed and a mere 9 percent opposed.
The UTLA will open schools if their demands are met. Those demands include: that LA County move out of the "purple tier" of COVID-contagion curbing restrictions, make sure all staff is fully vaccinated of provide access to same, and institute campus wide "safety measures."
California Governor Gavin Newsom, who faces a recall election as a petition to do so has reached more than 2 million signatures, signed a $6.6 billion spending package to get teachers back to work and kids back in school. The penalty for school districts that don't open for in-person learning by April 1 is a 1 percent deduction in state funding for every day they remain closed past the deadline.
Fox asked UTLA for comment on their plan to keep schools closed and keep union member hypocrisy quiet, but received only this reply: "We have a diverse membership and they are able to post their views on personal Facebook pages and in this Facebook group - however, UTLA does not monitor nor is responsible for the content. We do not want to discourage a robust dialogue for members in the public square of opinion."
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