Pro-lockdown union chief caught bringing daughter to in-person preschool
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March 3, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A California teachers’ union leader is under fire after he was caught dropping his daughter off at a private school even as he demands public schools remain closed due to COVID-19.
Over the weekend, the pro-reopening group GuerillaMomz published a video of Berkeley Federation of Teachers president Matt Meyer dropping off his daughter for in-person classes at a private preschool, which the group says was filmed on February 18. The video blurs out Meyer’s child and does not identify the school.
"We’d heard for a while that he sent his kid to private preschool and we’ve been hearing him make crazy claims at the school board meetings — it was ‘too dangerous’ for schools to open because kids wouldn’t wear masks,” GuerillaMomz says. “Meanwhile, his kid is wearing a mask at school.”
KQED reported that Meyer, who advocates making public-school reopening conditional on “social distancing, mask-wearing, and vaccinations for adults,” responded to the video by claiming preschools are “a completely different universe from an elementary school in terms of size, services provided, outside space and public health guidelines,” and that the videographer “scared my kid and the others in the vicinity. It was super inappropriate.”
GuerillaMomz denied scaring the girl, telling KQED they were walking quietly to ensure they didn’t catch ambient noise.
“I am a physician. It is definitively the scientific agreement that it is possible to deliver safe in-person education,” says Dr. Shelene Stine, who treats COVID patients and has kids who attend the same preschool as Meyer’s. “It’s infuriating to know Matt Meyer says kids can’t wear masks when kids in his preschool wear them all day long.”
In the United States and abroad, evidence indicates that reopening schools is safer than prolonged closure.
Last summer, U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Dr. Robert Redfield said the “cost to our nation in continuing to keep these schools closed is substantial,” especially the mental and emotional toll of prolonged social isolation. “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID,” he said. “We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID.”
“The risks to children from COVID are very low and the risks of school closures we know are very serious,” says Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom, citing a study of 20,000 students and teachers across 100 U.K. schools. He says 35 other studies from various other nations reached similar conclusions.
In June, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) declared that it “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school,” and that — unlike influenza — the “preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents can become infected and are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
Nevertheless, the public education establishment tends to remain hostile to reopening schools. Last month, members of the Oakley Union school board in California were caught on tape mocking parents who want schools to reopen.