Letters to the Editor
August 12, 2020

Letter to the Editor:
Second Opinion
As I read along, I couldn't find a lot to argue with in Martin's editorial last week. Not attending classes in person does present difficulties with social and academic loss, and to young children in particular. And I appreciate the recognition that none of us “civilians” really know the true risks of socialization in this pandemic, and should listen to the experts.
But somehow this acknowledgment took a right-hand turn when teachers and teachers’ unions were accused of selfishness and political bias in their concerns around returning to the school environment. Yes, of course, the teachers are extremely interested in maintaining their own health (or there is something wrong with them). However, I defy anyone who knows even one good teacher who does not also recognize his or her commitment to not only the student’s academic program, but also to the student’s personal experience, including his or her health. Selflessness is in a good teacher’s DNA and certainly their unions work hard to advance their interests (though I have a real objection to the lack of funding for classroom teachers). I fail to see how teachers are just being selfish in deciding when, if, and how schools should reopen until this country gets control of this virus (the experiences of other countries notwithstanding).
And then, we get to it. The true nugget of his argument: All this school debate is about damaging Trump’s reelection efforts. Martin believes that the teachers’ unions and the liberals really only care about making Trump look bad and are willing to hold our children hostage to do that. May I suggest that neither the teachers nor the liberals have to do one thing to make Trump look bad? He is bigly doing that for himself.
I have a granddaughter in San Cayetano school. I know that those teachers are devoted to the advancement of their students. But they, as educated people, cannot and should not turn a blind eye to the science of this pandemic, the current lack of success in controlling it in this state and in many places in the country, or the risk to themselves or their students. It is a question of balancing the risk and equities. I know my granddaughter is much better off in the direct academics and socialization of school, but I would not bet her life on it. Or that of her teachers.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore, Ca