A California teachers’ union president who has led the charge against reopening schools until teachers receive the coronavirus vaccine sends his daughter to a private preschool for in-person instruction, according to a local news report.
Video footage shows Matt Meyer, president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, walking his daughter into school Friday morning. The video was released by a group of Berkeley mothers fighting the union’s efforts to keep schools closed.
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Meyer has pressured the Berkeley Unified School District to provide vaccines for teachers before returning to school, and has argued that learning in a classroom is unsafe because “real-life children do not keep their masks on.”
While his two-year-old daughter was blurred in the video, she can still be seen wearing a mask.
Meyer advocates for what he calls the “gold standard” in school reopening plans—a hybrid of online and in-person instruction that prioritizes vaccinating teachers over returning students to the classroom.
Under this plan, preschoolers would not return for any in-person instruction until the end of March. Third-through-ninth graders wouldn’t return to the classroom until April 12, with high school students in grades 10 through 12 returning the following week.
Many Berkeley parents have opposed the plan, which they say is slow and contradicts scientific evidence that it’s safe to reopen schools. Last month, six lawyers with children in Berkeley Unified School District elementary schools threatened to sue the district if it refused to reopen schools for full, face-to-face instruction.
Multiple studies have found coronavirus transmission in schools is “extremely rare.” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said last month that teachers do not need to receive the coronavirus vaccine before returning to the classroom. Still, teachers’ unions like Berkeley’s largely oppose returning to the classroom until educators and school staff have access to the vaccine.