Teachers and faculty members across American cities formed caravans of cars Monday in protest of plans to reopen schools in the fall. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc in many regions, the decision over whether or not to send students back to school in-person this fall has become a hot-button debate.
The cars were adorned with signs and decorations as they moved through cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and Milwaukee. The employees are calling for school reopenings to be held back until such time as the coronavirus outbreak is under control or until sufficient safety guidelines are put in place.
“I do not want to put my students or myself in harm’s way. I do not want to be an experiment,” Andrea Parker, a Chicago elementary school teacher, told media.
In Los Angeles, protestors came together outside the Chamber of Commerce building. On the other side of the country — in Hartford, Connecticut — a caravan of 400 cars drove past the governor’s mansion.
“Here lies a third grade student from Green Bay who caught COVID at school,” a fake gravestone created by a protestor read.
In addition to their concern for issues directly related to schools, these protestors also called for increased financial aid for parents and guardians struggling amidst the pandemic. Some called for a freeze on evictions and foreclosures while workers are struggling to make rent payments.
President Trump has made the reopening of schools in the fall a major issue in recent months, urging for the return of students despite ample evidence that it would be unsafe to do so. In over 40 states, cases of coronavirus have been surging. In order to force the issue, the Trump administration has considered withholding federal funding for schools that do not reopen.
“Cases up because of BIG Testing! Much of our Country is doing very well. Open the Schools!” Trump tweeted on Monday. The increased rate of hospitalization, notably, would not be impacted by increased testing.