Teachers are having a rough time right now. Really tough. Ask any one of them in your life, and you will hear a set of pain points that range from the technical difficulties of teaching over Zoom on down to worries over whether their kids are getting enough to eat, and all points in between. They’ll also tell you that their own safety is often the last thing on parents’ minds, and often, those parents don’t even see where the teachers’ and the kids’ safety overlap. (They do, hugely.)
When you take a look at this WHYY story — Tensions over COVID-19 school safety plans boil over in Bucks County — you’re greeted by a now-familiar tale of the ongoing state of rancor over the twin debates of vaccination and re-opening, and that’s disheartening enough on its own. But to see it this playing out in real time here in Bucks as it did last week, in front of a school no less, it’s somehow even worse.
Why? Because Bucks is better than this.
We’re not going to act like there are two legitimate sides of this issue, because there aren’t. Everyone who can get a vaccine absolutely should, not just for themselves, but for their loved ones and communities as well. And folks who are trying to provide services to the public — be they medical professionals, educators, hospitality industry folks, and so on — deserve patience (more than you think you can have) and respect (double that).
Little of this was in evidence last week at the event covered in the WHYY story. And it turns out, that’s been the case for a good year or more now. So much to that it brought Bucks native Diana Leygerman to give some context as to what she’s seen recently when it comes to local parents — and bad actors besides, just coming along for the ride. Currently a teacher in Philly, but also a Bucks native, where she’s running for School Board Candidate for the Central Bucks School District, here’s what she had to say on Twitter last week.
We’ve unspooled it for your convenience. It’s worth a read:
?Last summer, when the heated reopen schools conversations and the palpable division on our community began, I noticed a trend. Out of curiosity, I drove by the “Reopen CB” protest in Doylestown, where parents and children held up signs supporting a full reopening.
Then, I drove by “Support our Teachers” rally near CB West, where kids wrote supportive messages and drew pictures in chalk.
Yesterday, a group of people came to an organized press conference and behaved horribly. Their only mission was to disrupt the speakers and cause chaos.
This was worse than their behavior at School Board meetings. They cursed at a student as she spoke. They yelled over physicians. They heckled nonstop. They stood behind the speakers with signs attempting to disturb.
They whispered disgusting things into the ears of those who came to support those brave enough to speak. They are the epitome of bullies. They are the cause of division, and they attempt to normalize their behavior by gaslighting others. They play victim after they incite hate.
They had the option to go color in chalk a few blocks away, just like the kids and parents did last summer, but they chose altercation and harassment. They could have organized their own presser, but they chose to disrupt yesterday’s with their unruly behavior.
These are the same people who have attempted to smear me. Emailed my work to try to get me fired and aid disgusting things about me without knowing who I am, and personalized every one of their insults towards me.
These are the same people who attempted to discredit a physician and pediatrician in our community. A mother in the district and one of the greatest human beings I know. They have harassed her nonstop.
These are the same people who have threatened teachers, School Board Directors, parents, and children in our district.
These are the same people who are endorsing and financially supporting my opponent.
I am positive we don’t want this type of behavior leading our School Boards and our community.
Since the beginning of my campaign, I have said that civility and integrity matter to me. What I witnessed yesterday goes against everything I stand for.
A few clips from yesterday.