As you probably know, a painful decision was made today by Governor Newsom to close California’s schools. Painful to make that call, but painful for all of us as educators, and most importantly, painful for our students and their parents. But, we will persevere and thrive. We have to. We have no choice. And, we will. And now more than ever, we have to set the good example for our students. You know, 19 days ago, CTA recommended the closure of California schools because of COVID-19. Since then, communities up and down the state are learning to shelter in place, protect ourselves and our families, and meet the needs of our students remotely. In only 19 days! You have met these challenges head on, making sure that - especially during these unpredictable times – parents and children can count on their educators. California took the bold step to close schools unlike other states to protect our citizens, primarily our youngest and oldest, especially those with pre-existing health conditions.
Major California education organizations, sometimes at odds with each other, closed ranks behind the Governor and the State Superintendent to endorse the closing of schools to protect our health, and stop the spread of COVID-19. CTA was joined by the Association of California School Administrators, the California School Boards Association, and others in endorsing the Governor’s proclamation.
Talking to you over the past two weeks has shown me what true grit and courage is…it’s you. It’s YOU. I know all of you are stepping up, with mere days of training, to ensure students continue to get the learning opportunities they need. MEA members are working their magic to meet their students wherever they are academically and emotionally.
And every day, I hear stories that make me tear up. I heard today that over 400 nursing homes across our country have at least one COVID-19 patient in their facility. And just like in a hospital, some of these people will die, chosen randomly by fate, and they will die alone without their love ones by their side for no one is allowed in the emergency care facilities except patients and hospital personnel. A nurse hasn’t seen her six-year old daughter in weeks because she doesn’t want to risk exposing her family to COVID-19, so she stays in a hotel room off shift. A man walked into a hospital last week, barely able to breathe or talk, and asked the nurse to call his wife. He wanted the nurse to tell her where he was, and that he loved her. He died within three days. Alone.
Love more, care more, and keep pushing forward. Tomorrow, I will sign our new agreement that specifies our working conditions until the end of the school year. I will send that legal document out to you for transparency, but I will also provide an explanation of your duties and responsibilities.
No funnies tonight. But how about these…