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Teachers Face Increasing Pressure To Return To The Classroom Without Full Vaccinations




A classroom sits empty at Kent Middle School on April 01, 2020 in Kentfield, California.
A classroom sits empty at Kent Middle School on April 01, 2020 in Kentfield, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Teachers unions are pushing back against pressure from the Biden Administration and Gov. Gavin Newsom, who yesterday said that campuses could reopen without teachers receiving vaccinations.

The Southern California chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics called for schools to open immediately, arguing that the challenges with keeping students at home outweigh the risks of reopening. United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), pushed back, however, saying that officials are risking the lives of members, students and their families. The renewed fervor over reopening campuses comes as coronavirus infections decrease throughout much of the state. Under state rules, it’s up to local health authorities to decide when school workers have access to a vaccine, once supplies increase. In LA County, teachers are not yet eligible for the vaccine, but they are in Long Beach, which has its own health department. 

Today on AirTalk, we’re learning more about what opening school campuses would mean for teachers that have not yet been vaccinated. Are you an educator? We want to hear from you! Comment below or give us a call at 866-893-5722.

This segment is being updated

Guests:

Heather Messner, visual arts teacher in the Duarte Unified School District; president of Duarte Unified Education Association, the union representing Duarte Unified teachers

Ashley Bettas-Alcala, president of the San Bernardino Teachers Association

Teri Sorey, president of the Irvine Teachers Association