The head of the Berkeley, California, teachers union that has opposed school reopening over COVID-19 concerns is under fire for sending his young daughter to an in-person preschool.
A video released over the weekend shows Matt Meyer, president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, walking his 2-year-old daughter into a private preschool.
Meyer “blocks opening public schools in-person, yet has had his own child in in-person school since June 2020. Stop the hypocrisy. Our children are suffering. Open schools full-time now,” a group advocating for school reopening tweeted.
The group declined to identify individual members by name, public news outlet KQED.org in San Francisco reported.
Meyer told the news outlet “there are no public schools for kids her age,” adding one of the people who followed him “scared my kid and the others in the vicinity. It was super inappropriate.”
The group defended its action.
“We’d heard for a while that he sent his kid to private preschool and we’ve been hearing him make crazy claims at the school board meetings — it was ‘too dangerous’ for schools to open because kids wouldn’t wear masks. Meanwhile, his kid is wearing a mask at school,” the group said in a written statement, KQED-TV reported.
Parent groups are increasingly pushing for school reopenings in California against teachers unions who want COVID-19 vaccines before restarting in-person instruction.
Meyer told the news outlet his job is to advocate for the will of the teachers in his union, and where he sends his own children is a “personal choice.”
“It’s completely opposite of what he’s pushing,” Jonathan Zachreson, the founder of Reopen California Schools, told the news outlet.
“So why is that safe for him and those people who work there [at the preschool], but not for all of the kids in Berkeley Unified and the teachers? The answer is: It is safe.”
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