While teachers wait to get the vaccine to protect themselves against COVID-19, schools in the San Diego Unified School District are not reopening for in-person learning. Some parents are laying blame.
“I’m frustrated, mostly with the teachers union, not the teachers,” said parent Ebey Sorenson who is with a group called "Reopen SDUSD." She not only blames the teachers union for standing in the way of school reopenings, but she also says the district did not push the issue.
“The district hasn't really been standing up for students to go back to the classroom,” she said.
“People are assigning us a lot more power and influence than we actually have," said Kisha Borden, the President of San Diego Education Association, the union representing teachers in the district.
Borden said the district creates the reopening plan and the union bargains on the impacts, and it just so happens both sides agree that it is not safe to reopen schools, especially now with the surge in cases and the new variant.
“The public is getting frustrated with the education system, even if they don’t want to go back to school and they like distance learning, it’s still hard,” Sorenson said parents could take out their frustration at the ballot box when voters are asked to pay more taxes for education.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” said another parent Lisa Delano-Wood who is with the group San Diego for Safe Science-Based Reopening. “I do think they have politicized this from the start, and they are politicizing it even more now moving forward, and these are the threats we hear. I don’t think anybody is worried about it.”
The teachers union in the San Dieguito Union High School District sued the district when it set a date to reopen schools. The legal challenge was dropped when the district changed its plans.