The American Federation of Teachers said that if schools open without certain safety measures, they will support strikes.
The union, which is the second-largest teacher’s union in the country, is demanding that schools remain closed until certain safety measures – including contact tracing, mask requirements, social distancing requirements, and updated ventilation systems – are met, the New York Times reported.
They are also demanding that schools stay closed until the daily positive test rate for COVID-19 stays below 5% and the community transmission rate is less than 1%, according to the New York Times. Out of the 10 largest school districts in the country, only 2 meet these requirements, the Times reported. (RELATED: Trump Wants Schools To Reopen, And Teachers Unions Are Pushing Back. What Do Parents Want?)
American Federation of Teachers’ President Randi Weingarten said that the federal government “sure as hell can help working families, and can help educators ensure our kids get the education they need.”
“We will fight on all fronts for the safety of our students and their educators,” Weingarten said.
The union said strikes should be used as a “last resort,” according to the Times.
President Donald Trump has supported reopening schools in the fall.
“Now that we have witnessed it on a large scale basis, and firsthand, Virtual Learning has proven to be TERRIBLE compared to In School, or On Campus, Learning,” the president tweeted July 10. “Not even close! Schools must be open in the Fall.”
Now that we have witnessed it on a large scale basis, and firsthand, Virtual Learning has proven to be TERRIBLE compared to In School, or On Campus, Learning. Not even close! Schools must be open in the Fall. If not open, why would the Federal Government give Funding? It won’t!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2020
The president also said that the disagreed with the CDC’s guidelines for reopening schools.
“I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools,” Trump said in a July 8 tweet. “While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!”