A group of protesters marched from the United Federation of Teachers headquarters to the New York City Department of Education offices on Monday, displaying a number of props designed to convey the dramatic message that the Department of Education was killing them.
According to the New York Post, the protest included about 200 people, “many” of whom were described to be educators, administration officials, or parents. They carried along with them a homemade yellow guillotine with “DOE” written on the blade, and “US” written where the head should go. They also reportedly carried along at least two coffins draped in black, and three body bags.
The protesters were upset about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to partially reopen schools this fall. They reportedly chanted “We demand safe schools!” as they marched, and complained to media personnel who attended the protest that de Blasio’s plan did not do enough to protect their safety.
Many on social media noted that, among other issues with the protest, the protesters were literally not observing proper social distancing during the course of their protest, which made their protestations about lack of proper safeguards ring a bit hollow.
Also, presumably these same teachers have been utilizing the services of the food processing and distribution industries, as well as the transportation industry and health care industry, which have been required to be at work since the pandemic began.
School reopening plans have emerged as one of the hottest political issues going into election season. The Trump administration, backed by the CDC and the American Pediatric Association, have strongly encouraged local schools to reopen in the fall for in-person learning, with the possible exception of some urban areas that are particularly hard hit or active hot spots for the infection.
Teachers’ unions, on the other hand, have strongly resisted plans to reopen local schools, and in many cases have attempted to use their leverage with the public to demand a list of far-fetched, non-germane liberal policies before they will willingly return to their jobs.