As the pandemic continues, there are some places a little too eager to reopen and get things back to normal. Nowhere is this more dangerous than in-person learning at schools.
Precautions need to be taken and results monitored, as spikes in infections aren't just possible, but likely. So when a school board voted to relax safety measures during a time when there were an increase in infections, teachers got upset.
And one teacher's speech before the board in Grosse Pointe, Michigan stood out.
Sean McCarroll, a teacher at Gross Pointe North High School spoke to a meeting of the school board last month.
"You tell us after your meetings that you 'so appreciate and respect us,' well I cry bullsh*t."
"You don't respect us. If you respected us, you'd listen to us."
"You don't appreciate us. If you did, you wouldn't make our jobs literally impossible to do."
"If you cared, you would pretend that you're listening, at least."
The board had voted to adopt more relaxed protocols regarding social distancing and quarantining, with a push to get more in-person teaching. Social distancing would be reduced from 6 feet down to 3 feet, and changing the mandated 14-day quarantine down to 10 days.
This is all in opposition to recommendations from teachers that the school district step back to hybrid learning after an uptick in positive cases at the end of April. However, instead of listening to the teachers, the board took advice from outside sources.
McCarroll brought this up to the board, saying:
"We are not angry about the situation... we're angry at you."
"Angry is a nice way of putting it."
"You've done more damage to our students, our district and our profession in the last 12 months than we've seen in the last decade."
Towards the end of his speech, McCarroll said he had already submitted his resignation and looked forward to a new career where the expertise of him and his peers would be appreciated and heeded.
Many online felt the situation was hurt by organizations like the school board calling the shots without listening to frontline workers like teachers.
McCarroll's words gained more traction after his speech found its way to Reddit. There on the "PublicFreakout" subReddit, McCarroll's impassioned plea was met with comments of support.
The commenters felt the teacher's argument was necessary, and supported teachers trying to do the right thing.
"I love the well-spoken freak outs that are obviously coming from a place of true righteousness."
"I hope he & all quality teachers find the places they are free to make real impacts on students." – ScribbleMuse
"This man has said everything I'm pretty sure every educator has wanted to say to the board."
"What an absolute chad." - R4dical-Rat
"Bro he is just spitting facts, I'm a student and I can't believe that if I got shot in the chest I might be left for dead."
"And here they are while millions and millions of students or people in general, hearing this for the first time. God save this country." - Pretend_Worth7136
"Teachers. They're the real heroes. Hardest job in the world.🙏🏽🙏🏽✊🏿" – flagots
The complaints against the Grosse Point district's school board weren't contained to that meeting.
Teachers called out sick en masse, as a form of protest. It was so many, the superintendent had to pitch in and help cover classes.
Students also walked out in a show of support.
One student told local station FOX 2:
"What affects teachers also affects us—we love our teachers we know they'll do the right thing."
"A lot of them are role models to us."
As the pandemic continues, there's some level of hope with the results we're seeing from the vaccine. However, it's still too early to tell long term effects.
The CDC recently loosened their own guidelines for mask mandates, which has led to some places reopening earlier than they should or businesses removing their requirements for masks.