Opinion | Return to School? Teachers Are Being Reasonable

More from our inbox:

To the Editor:

Re “Children Need to Be Back in School Now” (column, Jan. 29):

David Brooks seems to be missing the central point. If you vaccinate the teachers, they will happily return to the classroom.

No teacher I know (and I am one) prefers remote teaching. The “private and some public schools” that are operating safely are able to do so because they have the facilities and resources, but most schools do not. Why do you think the unions don’t want to open these schools? Because they are not safe!

Most teachers come into contact with 20 to 40 people per school day, inside, in close quarters. Is that a risk you would want to take, Mr. Brooks? Further, some teachers need to commute to their jobs on public transportation.

I live in New York City; I’m 59 years old. I would not step on a bus or train without a vaccine. Please stop maligning teachers and unions when they are not the problem. Teaching is not a job done easily from home. The pandemic has been a nightmare for teachers as well as students and their parents.

Judy Stein
New York

To the Editor:

Opening schools is indeed the key to rescuing children from education deficits and mental health problems, and allowing their parents to work. But teachers’ unions aren’t entirely unreasonable in refusing to go back to in-person school.

Teachers have always been undervalued in the United States, as indicated by their salaries. Why should they believe that they will be protected when state and local governments don’t have the guts to keep restaurants, bars, hair salons and gyms closed to stop the spread?

Those businesses and leisure activities are prioritized over school safety, and when that changes, you might see a different reaction from the teachers’ unions.

Martha Hausman
Newton, Mass.

Slow Mail Delivery

To the Editor:

I don’t know to what extent Donald Trump’s pre-election shenanigans intent upon slowing down mail-in ballots have affected timely mail deliveries, but an institution that has served me for 50-plus years so seamlessly that I didn’t give it a second thought has fallen into a state of disrepair that is completely unacceptable.

I am wrestling with my mortgage company to rescind a late fee for a check mailed 10 days before its due date that arrived 11 days past its due date. Three weeks for a first-class envelope to travel from Pennsylvania to Texas! What’s happening to people who receive medications via the U.S. Postal Service?

Has the word “swift” been deleted from its informal “neither snow nor rain …” motto?

John W. Jones
Solebury Township, Pa.

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