National Coalition of Educators, Parents, Students and Community Groups Join Together for a Day of Resistance Calling for COVID-19 Free Public Schools
Thousands Participate in Day of Resistance Events in More Than 15 Cities and Towns in over 10 states
WASHINGTON, DC—On Wednesday, thousands of parents, students, educators, and community members will take collective action in over 15 cities and ten states as part of a growing movement demanding safe, welcoming, thriving and COVID-19 free public schools. During the day-long action, education justice advocates will be conducting car caravans, press events, and virtual rallies to demand safe schools free from COVID-19, excessive police presence, and rich with resources to keep students, their families and educators safe.
Wednesday’s Day of Resistance is part of a national movement started by a coalition of local education unions, community groups, student organizers and dedicated parents. This coalition was responsible for the robust August 3 Day of Action for safe schools and has been a leading force in pushing for more significant investments, a scientific approach to school-reopening, and a massive expansion of community schools.
Wednesday’s action comes on the heels of a recent announcement by the Little Rock Education Association to not return to in-person instruction because of unsafe conditions and a spike of COVID-19.
“As states across the nation push for school districts, sporting events, bars, and restaurants to re-open, our education community continues to suffer from COVID-19 and the inequities that it has laid bare,” said CTU Executive Vice President Stacy Davis-Gates. “For more than seven months, Black, brown and vulnerable families continue to be harmed by COVID-19, under-resourced public schools, and the lack of access to broadband internet and tools necessary for remote and hybrid learning.”
For example, in Illinois, one of the wealthiest public school districts in Winnetka has spent $1400 extra per student to coordinate COVID response, ensure rapid testing, contact testing, HEPA air filters, and protective desk shields for all. Meanwhile, the overwhelmingly Black and Latinx districts in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, St. Paul, etc., where COVID-19 transmission rates are two or three times as high, possess fewer resources to prepare for in-person instruction.
In St. Paul and Minneapolis, educators in partnership with faith-based group ISAIAH will march to demand equitable, accessible, reliable, free internet solutions for our families, a Moratorium on Charter Schools, and an end to tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires throughout the state.
“Before we even begin to talk about going back into schools, we have to know they are safe for staff and students,’ said St. Paul Federation of Educators President Nick Faber. “Safety means more than just COVID-19 free schools; it also means ending oppressive, systemic racial injustices caused by school systems built on white supremacy and historic underfunding.”
Similar actions will be taking place throughout the country. In New York City, the Movement of Rank and File Educators will march to Jeff Bezos’ residences to demand a safe school plan that taxes the rich to provide public education investments.
In both the Bay Area and Los Angeles, activists will swarm the Chevron corporate headquarters to support the PROP 15 ballot initiative–a proposal that would tax large corporations and wealthy investors up to $12 billion to fund public education and essential government services.
To learn more about the local actions and resistance movements throughout the country on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, please visit www.Demandsafeschools.org.