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Don’t blame teachers' union for e-learning hardships | READER COMMENTARY

Virtual learning with young children can be challenging but school systems and public health officials have legitimate concerns about the safety of in-person instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virtual learning with young children can be challenging but school systems and public health officials have legitimate concerns about the safety of in-person instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Dreamstime/TNS)

As a 45-year retired teaching veteran of the Baltimore County Public Schools system, I take exception to Andrea Bottner’s depiction of Cheryl Bost and the Maryland State Education Association as putting a political agenda above the educational success of students (“Union politics hurts Maryland students,” Sept. 18). As a teacher in Baltimore County at an economically disadvantaged school, Ms. Bost fought to gain educational resources for her students. Then, as Teachers Association of Baltimore County president, she continued that fight for students where, incidentally, the membership changed the bylaws to extend her term as a reward for inspired leadership. Now, as president of MSEA, she has fostered the amplification of the fight for student educational success by advocating for a safe, healthy return to in-person education.

The key word here is “safe.” Safe for students, teachers and also all people associated with the smooth execution of the school day. The state has made no mention of what it has done to provide the safe environment needed for a safe return. Nor is the death toll of over 200,000 people, an ever increasing number, even mentioned. Ms. Bottler merely repeats the state’s rhetoric of “back to in-person” learning. Unfortunately, public schools do not have the luxury of limiting the number of students they get, or buying the resources needed to separate those students to provide a safe environment!

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I know that Ms. Bost and all members of MSEA would be willing to return to in-person learning if all resources were provided for a safe environment. Ms Bost’s and MSEA’s journey toward educational success for all would then be complete.

Anna Ritchey, Dundalk

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