To the editor:
There is not a teacher anywhere in New Hampshire that does not wish to be in the classroom with their students. However, the announcement from Gov. Chris Sununu seems to have been done on a whim and based upon incomplete and inaccurate information.
First, the multiple times the governor incorrectly stated that teachers would be fully vaccinated by April 19. That is factually incorrect. While teachers have had their scheduled first dose, many schools will not have their second until after April 19, and many will not be two weeks out from their second vaccine.
Second, the governor in his announcement did not mention a plan for those schools which cannot achieve at least 3 feet of social distancing due to size of the school and student population. What about social distancing on buses or in the cafeteria?
Finally, the governor offers no explanation how teachers are to incorporate both remote and in-class teaching into their workdays. In essence, this has none of the hallmarks of a thoughtful decision but looks more like a blithe and spur-of -the-moment announcement, with no serious consideration of consequences and complications. The governor may live in a simple world but the rest of us live in the real world.
Lastly, as has become the norm with Gov. Sununu, he talked to no one connected with local education in the state. As with the governor’s prior announcements, school districts were already making their plans, knowing the particulars of their local district, before the governor issued his heavy-handed state mandate. Instead of working with local districts, the governor has once again tried to swoop in for credit while leaving school districts to do the real work.
president of American Federation of Teachers-NH