A user of a private Facebook group for members of California’s largest teachers union cautioned teachers to not post about their vacations on social media because it could hurt the union’s argument that schools are unsafe for return, Fox 11 reported, based on leaked posts.
The post appeared to be from a United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) group called “UTLA FB Group – Members Only,” with about 5,700 members. “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 post said, according to Fox 11.
NEW: In a leaked post from a private Facebook group for UTLA union members only, teachers are warned not to post on social media if they go on spring break vacations because the optics would be bad for them while UTLA is refusing to return to “unsafe” in-person schooling @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/KxQc7k450T
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 9, 2021
“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,” the union told Fox 11. “We do not want to discourage a robust dialogue for members in the public square of opinion.”
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the second-largest school district in the country, with nearly 600,000 students. UTLA recently refused to return to classrooms following an agreement reached between Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislators that would incentivize school reopening.
The state of California announced a multibillion-dollar deal aimed at enticing schools to resume in-person learning April 1, but union demands for vaccinations of teachers and reduced transmission rates make it unlikely LAUSD will meet that date. https://t.co/BeuG75Yg0U
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) March 2, 2021
The $6.6 billion school reopening package would give funding to schools that reopen K-2 and high needs in-person instruction by April 1. Districts in a red tier or better, meaning they are located in a community with low virus transmission, must reopen all elementary grades and at least one middle or high school grade.
Districts will forfeit 1% of their allotted funding every additional day after April 1 in which they violate the state’s in-person instruction guidelines.
UTLA’s president Cecily Myart-Cruz claimed that plan would be a “recipe for propagating structural racism,” and claimed that white, wealthy parents were behind the push to reopen schools. (RELATED: Black Parents Plan School Reopening Rally After Teachers Union Claims White, Rich People Are Behind Push To Reopen)
Myart-Cruz said that the union will “not accept an arbitrary return to school date” until their demands are met, ABC 7 reported. Union teachers said they will not return until Los Angeles County moved out of the state’s strict Purple Tier of coronavirus spread. They also demand all staff be vaccinated before returning.
Myart-Cruz also said more than 90% of the union’s 25,000 teachers who were polled voted “YES” on rejecting reopening schools, according to Fox 11.
According to an email obtained by the Daily Caller’s Jorge Ventura, UTLA emailed a parent in February who spoke favorably about reopening the district’s schools with the media, and asked the parent to identify her race for a “research project.”
“You are quoted twice in the last eight months,” the email said. The “research specialist” described the method used to code race based on information provided in the news article that quotes individuals speaking about the school district. The mother who received the email told the Caller she felt she was “being targeted” by the union for wanting schools to reopen.