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A governor who expects teachers in classrooms is scared to speak in House chamber | READER COMMENTARY

In this Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, file photo, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan calls on all of Maryland's county school systems to immediately make every effort to return to some form of in-person instruction no later than March 1, during a news conference, in Annapolis, Md., as Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon stands by him. (AP Photo/Brian Witte, File)
In this Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, file photo, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan calls on all of Maryland's county school systems to immediately make every effort to return to some form of in-person instruction no later than March 1, during a news conference, in Annapolis, Md., as Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon stands by him. (AP Photo/Brian Witte, File) (Brian Witte/AP)

Imagine my surprise to see the headlines announcing that Gov. Larry Hogan would give the State of the State address via video due to coronavirus precautions (”Maryland Gov. Hogan to deliver State of the State speech Wednesday evening by video due to coronavirus precautions,” Feb. 1. He refused to enter the House of Delegates chamber, a room of approximately 3,300 square feet and several stories high, which has been reconfigured according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Maryland Department of Health guidelines? He would not address, in person, the Maryland General Assembly, even in a hybrid manner? He is admitting that the risk of being in contact with less than 100 people for less than one hour, in this setting, is too great?

Are you kidding me?

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Governor Hogan believes that this risk was too great, yet he expects educators to be in a classroom of approximately 600-to-800 square feet, just one story high, with at least 10-to-12 students, 7.5 hours a day, four or five days a week? Are you kidding me?

He who has bullied, threatened and disrespected educators throughout this pandemic. He who has responded to a small but loud group of the public by ordering educators back to school, dismissing health metrics associated with opening schools safely, nullifying the need for educators to be vaccinated and disregarding CDC and MDH guidelines.

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The same man who has ignored requests from school systems for state guidance and assistance, funneled federal COVID-19 relief moneys to vouchers, private and charter schools, and refused to order the state superintendent of schools or her department to create meaningful and sustaining guidelines to reopen schools, changing guidelines and standards to be met mere days before schools systems open.

And the person who promised retaliation and other actions against educators should they not adhere to your demands, refused to work with, in a collaborative effort, state superintendents, educator representatives, parent organizations and other stakeholders to safely reopen schools.

This is the governor who stated, “the roadblocks to resuming in-person (instruction) must cease …. we need to follow the science …” This is the same person who chose to record a video of his State of the State address. Are you kidding me?

Cynthia F. Poper, Edgewood

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