Maryland Teachers Held Parade To Protest Going Back To Work

(Screenshot/Twitter User @TPCarney)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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Educators in Montgomery County, Maryland, held a car parade protest against returning to work Tuesday.

The Montgomery County Board of Education voted Feb. 9 to return to in-person instruction Mar. 1 for for special needs and technical education students, and Mar. 15 for all other students, according to WTOP. The Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) said it was rallying for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to address “outstanding educator concerns.”

The MCEA streamed the event to social media, showing off what appeared to be hundreds of vehicles proceeding through the streets with signs and honking horns. “When the pandemic started, teachers were praised and honored….now, they are being villainized for trying to keep their communities safe,” said one attendee, Jeremy Levine, according to MCEA.

Derek Turner, MCPS chief of engagement, innovation, and operations, said the schools will use masking, social distancing and hand sanitizing to ensure a safe environment, according to WTOP. Thermometers will also be distributed to all families, and classes will quarantine if one teacher or student tests positive. Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is reportedly giving the county 50,000 rapid testing kits.

Over 20% of teachers and staff in MCPS have been vaccinated, WTOP reported. Still, some teachers are saying it isn’t enough. (RELATED: 66 GOP Congressmen Accuse Biden Of Ignoring Science On Reopening Schools)

“MCPS employees are NOT the Giving Tree! We will NOT sacrifice our health and safety. We are insulted that it was assumed that we should just suck it up and obey the delusional, dangerous directives,” MCEA vice president Jennifer Martin said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined it is safe to reopen schools with proper precautions in place.

Extensive scientific evidence has been compiled showing that schools are not overly susceptible to COVID-19 spread. Spread in schools typically mirrors spread in the surrounding community, and young children are not at high-risk compared to older adults or those with compromised immune systems.

“We are here today because, frankly, this is a question of humanity,” MCEA president Chris Lloyd said.