A California school teacher recently described his discontent with parents pushing for schools to reopen in-person learning in a post on Facebook, according to Fox News reporting.
The Facebook post is no longer available, but the teacher, Damian Harmony, a Latin teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento, reportedly made the comments in a speech to the school board and posted the rant later on social media.
Fox News reported:
Harmony, who is a parent himself, said he has been able to better gauge “White supremacy” in his neighborhood, after hearing other parents demanding that the school district have its teachers return to the classroom.
“I’m as disappointed as I am unsurprised that last week, we all had to hear all the cynical, pearl-clutching, faux-urgency, ableist, structurally White-supremacist, hysteria, even as teachers were moving forward with an MOU that already put them in harm’s way and was asking too much of a beleaguered group of professionals,” Harmony said.
Harmony then chastised parents for treating teachers like a “wait staff” – actions that, he argued, will impair children’s ability to “grow up to be better than our generation.”
“You’ve attempted to bully a school board into making the schools less safe for the teachers and children. And you nearly succeeded, making complicit two of its members – who are still meeting virtually, but deciding that others must meet in person,” Harmony said. “You’ve attempted to bully a school board into acting in bad faith with teachers of your children.”
A spokesperson for the Sacramento City Unified School District told Fox News that the teacher’s statements were “not made in his capacity as a district employee of Sacramento City Unified School District, but in his personal capacity and through the public comment portion during a different school district’s board meeting regarding that district’s reopening plan.”
“The tone and sentiment of his personal statement does not reflect the official opinions or policy of Sacramento City Unified School District,” the spokesperson said.
The SCUSD recently reached an agreement with the teachers union to reopen schools in its district and students will be welcomed back to the classrooms beginning April 8.
The Sacramento Bee reported:
The [district and the Sacramento City Teachers Association] agreed to provide professional development on technology, an opportunity for teachers to bring their own school age children on campus, and medical assistants to help screen students and staff.
The agreement also allows teachers who have health risks or who care for relatives with health conditions to apply for accommodations, which may include continuing teaching remotely. The district and the union agreed on providing improved ventilation that includes MERV-13 filters, HEPA filters and CO2 monitors.
SCUSD Superintendent Jorge Aguilar said, “Every day that our students are not on our campuses is time many are not getting the support that they need.”
Aguilar added: “We are happy that our students will not have to wait any longer. The students in Sac City Unified, like all other students in our region, deserve in-person instruction to support their academic, social, and emotional learning and growth. We have implemented extensive protocols to ensure our schools are safe. Over half of our families are choosing to send their students back to in-person learning. It is time to honor their decisions.”
According to a survey conducted in the district, 53% of respondents chose to return to classes for in-person learning, while 47% chose to remain in virtual classes online. The Sacramento Bee reported that “About half of the district’s 40,000 students will return to in-person learning two days a week in cohorts, and engage in distance learning three days a week.”