Students, parents, teachers, school staff, and other community members in dozens of cities across the United States will mobilize Wednesday to demand President Donald Trump, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Republican senators provide schools with the resources necessary to "protect the students, educators, and their families from Covid-19; to save jobs; and to meet the academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of all our kids."
The nationwide day of action is supported by a coalition of social justice organizations and labor groups, including the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the country's two largest unions for educators and support professionals.
While lamenting all of the things that teachers miss about in-person education, NEA president Lily Eskelsen Garcia noted in August that schools have not been given "one additional federal dollar to open schools safely."
Both the NEA and the AFT, along with numerous other groups, encouraged people to join Wednesday's #DemandSafeSchools demonstrations.
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Make a plan to join us this Wednesday, 9/2 for our #DemandSafeSchools day of action, and tell your friends so they can do the same.— AFT (@AFTunion) August 30, 2020
Together, we can make sure every school is safe. pic.twitter.com/Ms9H8XpYWu
Given that millions of Americans are currently "struggling to figure out how to go back to school safely and meet the needs of all students" while Senate Republicans refuse to support the HEROES Act passed by House Democrats in May, organizers are urging people to send Trump and "his enablers" a message by participating in an event on Wednesday.
The campaign website lists multiple ways for people to get involved:
- Grab a sign and take a photo. Share it using the hashtag #DemandSafeSchools;
- Get online and voice your concerns;
- Hold your own homegrown demonstration;
- Join a car parade;
- Start a Twitter storm; use the hashtag #DemandSafeSchools;
- Call your legislators;
- Plan a telephone townhall meeting; and
- Write an email, a letter to the editor or a Facebook post.
September 2 marks almost two months since both AFT and NEA called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to consolidate Republican support for the HEROES Act, which includes over $900 billion for state and local governments that can be used to support public education as well as $90 billion in additional funding to prevent the loss of teaching and school support jobs.
A map of events can be found here.