The COVID-19 pandemic has affected workers in all industries, with some being able to work from home, who are now being forced back into work with little to no protections.
Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59 Teacher Chapter President Greta Callahan explained the concerns of teachers in Minneapolis as they are being pulled back into the classroom on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
What is happening as Minneapolis students head back to classrooms?
Callahan said students are being brought back to school at a quicker rate than was planned. The teachers are concerned because few protections are being offered and the plan is entirely rushed.
The main push to have students back in classrooms is to resume standardized testing, which Callahan doesn’t believe should happen during these times. The Governor has offered little help and is demanding the students be tested.
Additionally, Callahan was concerned about students dealing with the Derek Chauvin case, which will determine charges for the Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering George Floyd.
Dealing with charter schools in Minneapolis
Beginning her teaching career at a charter school, Callahan has seen the issues that exist in these for profit schools. She detailed having to tell parents the school could not help their child, saying the resources were not available.
This led to her beginning a public school career and getting involved with her union. Her former colleagues faced punishment, including being fired for speaking out against the conditions of charter schools. She said it is nice to know that her union will defend her, while she defends her students.