We are educators and we miss seeing our students in classrooms. But returning to schools without proper health and safety protections will expose our children and their families to COVID-19 and will put them at greater risk of illness and death.
This pressure to return to LA public schools unsafely is political. It is not science.
Local and state officials have failed to create the necessary conditions for a safe return and are discounting LAUSD families, who are overwhelmingly low-income families of color, the group hit hardest by the virus. LAUSD is made up of 85% Latino and Black students. People in our school communities are dying at disproportionately higher rates and getting vaccinated at disproportionately lower rates.
The COVID death rate among Latino residents in L.A. County remains triple the rate for white residents even as the recent surge recedes. Elected officials and so-called leaders are discounting the families that LAUSD serves, who are overwhelmingly low-income families of color.
In spite of this political pressure to return, UTLA educators remain committed to create a safe environment in our schools and save lives. Join us in demanding that Gov. Newsom and local officials provide the necessary health and safety conditions to return to our classrooms and schools safely.
On Saturday, February 20, a 100-car caravan stretched through downtown Los Angeles sponsored by Students Deserve, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Los Angeles Alliance for New Economy, Eastside Padres Contra La Privatización, Reclaim Our Schools Los Angeles, United Teachers Los Angeles.
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Collectively, we can win a safe return to schools that our students and community members deserve.
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