On Sunday evening, schools across the United States abruptly announced closures.
The phenomenon occurs as the Omicron variant spreads throughout the United States, inducing staffing shortages in education and other industries — even as students return to class after Christmas break.
For instance, Pittsburgh Public Schools is shuttering 12 schools on Monday, according to WPXI:
The district intended to bring all students back to the classroom Monday, sending a notice to parents reiterating that universal indoor mask-wearing will still be mandated as well as distancing and other mitigation efforts.
But staffing issues caused PPS to reverse course at a dozen schools.
The district sent a second notice to impacted parents Sunday night, saying that “due to a staffing shortage caused by positive cases of COVID-19, COVID-related quarantines, and other staff-related absences, students and staff will transition to live streaming educational learning and instruction.”
Several Connecticut school districts are doing the same, according to WFSB:
Several school districts announced closures or delays for Jan. 3 because of COVID-related staffing issues or transportation problems.
Region 14, Enfield, Stratford, and Stonington public schools were closed on Monday….After the holiday break, schools across the state aimed to get students back in the classroom.
“Truthfully, as long as it’s safe, I’m good with the schools starting back up,” said Terrence Mayo, a parent who spoke with Channel 3.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Milwaukee Public Schools will launch virtual learning on Tuesday:
The district’s goal is to resume in-person learning Jan. 10.
“MPS was scheduled to resume in-person learning on January 4, 2022, but due to an influx of reported positive COVID-19 cases among district staff, this emergency safety measure is being implemented,” the announcement said.
District staff members not in quarantine in accordance with MPS COVID-19 protocol are expected to report to their work location, the announcement said.
The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association posted on Facebook Saturday that they advocated for MPS to return virtually this week “so that testing can occur and staffing be properly assessed.”
In recent days, teachers unions — especially in large Democrat-controlled cities — have been issuing demands that serve to prevent a return to in-person instruction.
“Our union proposes Mayor Lightfoot and her CPS team must put mitigations in place — including COVID-19 testing — by Jan. 3 to ensure safety as classes resume,” Chicago Teachers Union Local 1 said last week. “If mitigations are not in place, in-person learning must be paused so the district can implement proper safety measures.”
Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway recently flamed public officials and teachers unions for enforcing lockdowns on young children.
“It’s been amazing to watch. I am sure Republicans are thrilled that teacher unions and Randi Weingarten and other teacher union officials are working so hard to put kids in lockdown, even though there is no scientific basis for doing so,” Hemingway remarked during a Fox News segment. “But it is horrific for children, it is making sure that people understand that government, school unions exist in no way to help children, only to help teachers, and that they do not care about the well-being of students. That is so abundantly clear. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that.”