Since the COVID-19 pandemic began over a year ago, one of the primary concerns across the country has been its impact on education. The quality of education for school children being forced to learn from home via on-line learning has been so worrisome, many states have seen a dramatic decrease in public school enrollment as parents opt for private schools instead. In California for instance, public school enrollment this year dropped by over 160,000 compared to the previous trend of approximately 25,000.
Government officials have told us the health risks for COVID are so serious it is better to sustain potential temporary setbacks in our students’ educations than to put them and their teachers in harms way of the coronavirus. Let’s continue to keep schools closed, they’ve told us, because it’s too dangerous for teachers and students to return. Many of those same government officials have also told us that vaccines developed by three different pharmaceutical companies are not only safe for us to receive, but are highly effective in eliminating infections. Additionally, teachers’ unions and various government education officials contend that they consider both the students’ safety and education to be their priorities. It is these details that make the recent policy by the city of Detroit so perplexing.
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Detroit is attempting to entice their teachers into being vaccinated by offering a $500 bonus to those who get the shots, as well as providing them with two additional sick days that can be rolled over if not used. Keep in mind, schools in Detroit had been closed for months, finally reopening only last month before closing again for two weeks in early-April due to COVID concerns. Detroit, like so many other governments, has been extremely cautious in protecting students and teachers. But this policy begs many questions to be answered, and one in particular.
If COVID is so deadly and threatening, and if the vaccines are so effective and safe, why would Detroit, or any other city, need to essentially bribe teachers into getting the shots if their priorities are indeed the students’ educations and health?
Nobody should be forced to be vaccinated, so at least it’s reassuring that no one has attempted to go down that path yet. Vaccinations for teachers should be an individual decision, just like everyone else. But we’ve learned a great deal about COVID since it began, including the fact that COVID infection rates for school-aged children are less than those of the seasonal flu; and the virus’ severity is also significantly less for students. Additionally, vaccines have been available to the elderly in Michigan and elsewhere for months now, so the argument that students may infect their grandparents has been rendered unlikely. Considering these factors, the people for whom vaccines would be the most helpful in this situation are presumably the teachers themselves. So why offer them the carrot of a $500 bonus and sick days?
The reason for Detroit implementing this handout to teachers is clear: Democrats are beholden to their teachers’ union, and what better way to stroke that union than by giving their members a couple of sick days and five-hundred bucks for doing something millions of Americans have already done without any incentive.
Public unions, including teachers’ unions, are a cancer in our country, and this news from Detroit is only the latest example. Public unions need to be outlawed. The unions negotiate contracts on behalf of their memberships. Those members pay union dues which not only fund the operations of the unions but are also used to finance political contributions. Those contributions are made almost exclusively to one political party, the Democratic Party, and when elected those same Democrats turn around and negotiate those same contracts with the very people who just contributed to their political campaign.
Public unions negotiating agreements with the politicians they help to elect is clearly corrupt, yet it happens in plain sight. That corruption is there for all of us to see. For those who dismiss this nonsense from Detroit as not their concern, think again. These $500 kickbacks are being financed by President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ recent $1.9 trillion so-called COVID Relief Bill. Your federal tax dollars are being used by Detroit officials to payoff and placate their teachers’ union; plain and simple. The dishonesty we’re seeing between public unions and Democrats has reached a level that would make even politicians from Depression-era Chicago blush.
P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including Human Events, the Western Journal, and American Thinker. Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen.