The eldest son of the former President tweeted a video on Saturday in which he discussed the many failures of the teachers union and their poor handling of opening schools amidst the pandemic.
School reopening negotiations have been contentious in many states and in large districts.
According to a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis, nearly 1 in 4 teachers are at an increased risk for serious illness if they contract the viral pathogen responsible for the global health crisis.
Many teachers have spoken out against returning to classrooms without safety protocols in place—like having every teacher receive vaccinations—because they are afraid of getting exposed to the virus from students who may not suffer or exhibit symptoms. Teachers also fear bringing it home to high-risk family members.
Katharine Strunk—a professor at Michigan State University—said:
"The unions have made it pretty clear that they do not want teachers back in school buildings until they're 100 percent sure they're safe."
Don Jr. claimed teachers unions "failed our children" in an aggressive rant in a video titled "These teachers unions are seriously getting ridiculous."
Don Jr. said:
"You've seen what they've done over the last couple of months, the way they've basically held up progress, prevented schools from opening."
"The teachers union and those representing them have definitely failed our children in terms of education and everything else. I mean, the teachers union has certainly failed the science they're supposed to be teaching us, because, again, it's all political."
Those who saw the video thought Don Jr.'s use of the backdrop while slamming the teachers union was in poor taste "in the era of school shootings."
@MysterySolvent 1) There is no one “teachers union.” There are MANY unions in different states. 2) The private scho… https://t.co/3d8p3aZTSa— michelle (@michelle) 1613889590.0
@MysterySolvent 4) Standing in front of a wall of semi automatic firearms while ranting about teachers is liable to… https://t.co/qCKssO2Dxg— michelle (@michelle) 1613889643.0
Some expressed concern about his sanity.
Don Jr. keeps deteriorating. https://t.co/Jun0KH3uTK— Mystery Solvent (@Mystery Solvent) 1613878435.0
@MysterySolvent Somebody should notify the FBI or the ATF. This individual is off his rocker 😳— 🕊 𝗝𝘂𝗹𝗲𝗲 🌳🤙🏻 (@🕊 𝗝𝘂𝗹𝗲𝗲 🌳🤙🏻) 1613878824.0
Others suggested the video's content was evocative of something "extremists" would post.
Journalist Aaron Rupar said Don Jr.'s tirade was like:
"an extremist video posted from a bunker of undisclosed location."
This looks and sounds like an extremist video posted from a bunker of undisclosed location https://t.co/LNWmiUN96I— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1613889067.0
"Why are conservatives silent about this terrorist when they would be outraged if this same video would have been done by a Muslim."
Why are conservatives silent about this terrorist when they would be outraged if this same video would have been do… https://t.co/CQ0S1WcOzm— David Weissman (@David Weissman) 1613890894.0
@MysterySolvent Why the sudden need for Republicans to have guns behind them in their videos? This makes them look… https://t.co/HjEAjLnfMS— Hope (@Hope) 1613888209.0
@davidmweissman Speaking about teachers returning to school while standing in front guns is disgusting. My daughter… https://t.co/eoS7IDJkY1— Robyn Evans (@Robyn Evans) 1613893521.0
@davidmweissman Who can verify the background hasn’t been altered. This is a seriously disturbing video. It’s hard… https://t.co/X71eIX8Juz— Cece (@Cece) 1613915254.0
@davidmweissman @MalcolmNance Dudes talking about the teachers union failing us. I guess because they don’t want to… https://t.co/eICtRy82WG— Krissylady (@Krissylady) 1613909372.0
@davidmweissman It’s clear why he directs anger toward TEACHERS. I am just surprised he doesn’t spew the same ignor… https://t.co/dpddSCZaOK— Spartan70 (@Spartan70) 1613917950.0
Many also suggested the former President's son was showing signs of suffering from a cocaine addiction—a frequent allegation he has repeatedly denied.
Guns, cocaine and reckless stupidity. Isn’t this how Pacino’s “Scarface” ended? https://t.co/CeBEe7XEvm— Mindful Primate (@Mindful Primate) 1613907263.0
Cokey McFuckFace is spiraling. If he was Britney Spears, courts would take over his life. https://t.co/7rpIIB0nat— Not Bill Murray (@Not Bill Murray) 1613923085.0
@MysterySolvent Dude. Teachers' unions haven't failed us. Your daddy did. He knew it was bad and misled the public.… https://t.co/p3yoY0iHRw— Rose Marie (@Rose Marie) 1613890491.0
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintained schools in communities with low levels of the virus can safely reopen with safety measures in place, like social-distancing and the requiring of masks in the classroom.
But many teachers in communities that have not abided by the measures, even before the availability of the vaccines, remain concerned for their safety and are apprehensive about returning.