*By Julie Barrett, Founder, Conservative Ladies of Washington
Last week Seattle Public Schools, Bellevue School District and Kent School District all closed their schools for Friday, November 12th, the day following Veteran’s Day due to a shortage of substitute teachers. Between Seattle and Bellevue schools, over 600 teachers had scheduled to take the day off.
A statement by Seattle Public Schools claimed that the reason for the day off was “teacher fatigue” which was supported by the Seattle Education Association (the teacher’s union for SPS):
We are aware of a larger than normal number of SPS staff taking leave on Friday, and do not believe we have adequate personnel to open schools.
We acknowledge that the high volume of leave requests on a Friday following a federal holiday is indicative of the fatigue that educators and students are experiencing, locally and nationwide, 11 weeks into the return to in-class learning. We recognize the late notice creates challenging circumstances for many families. Our hope is that the four-day weekend allows for some level of physical, mental, and emotional rest and recharging.
In Bellevue School District, administrators claimed that the closure was due, in part, to inclement weather. Early in the week, the weather forecast for Friday was rainy and mid-50’s, a typical November day in the Puget Sound region. There were no predicted power outages or reasons why schools could not be open due to the weather. Perhaps BSD took a page from the Southwest Airlines PR notebook.
So why is it really that this teacher shortage exists? And why are so many teachers making a 4 day weekend out of Veteran’s Day when they’ve got Thanksgiving next week with a 4 day weekend. As a mother of 4 high school students who have missed a substantial amount of school in the last 2 years with little to no recovery, I find myself with a lack of patient to “teacher fatigue” and an abundance of rain. It seems to me this is a human resources failure. Any other corporation or business would not allow for so many employees to take a personal day if it was going to shut down the business. But it’s okay for our taxpayer-funded government schools to close apparently.
I talk to a lot of teachers in Washington state on a regular basis and what I frequently hear is that teachers are tired of having the radical left ideals pushed upon them and prioritized over academic education. Especially in Western Washington there has been a very hard push over the last 3 years, and even more so since the Covid-19 lockdowns, for DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion), CRT or REJ (racial educational justice) which includes sexual identity and the LGBTQ/” inclusion” agenda. Teachers of every subject were first encouraged, but now required, to implement these lessons into their curriculum.
Radical left ideals are not accepted by most of the population, yet in education and even corporate work environments, professionals are being forced to comply or risk losing their jobs. Many teachers I know have chosen to leave the public school system in favor of private schools that are not pushing to indoctrinate their students and are focusing on academics and preparing students for real life beyond their school years. I’ve also known many teachers who have taken early retirement or switched professions because this is not what they signed up for when they became teachers, and they refuse to participate in the indoctrination.
This teacher shortage does not exist because teachers are getting old. This shortage exists because our government school system has put the focus on indoctrination over education and most teachers, the educators, want no part of it. As the daughter of a retired teacher, I’ve spent a great deal of time around educators and what I know from my experience is that teachers teach because they love students, they love learning, and they love seeing growth in our young people. What’s going on in government schools right now is not education, it’s indoctrination. We will never attract good teachers who care about education if we continue down this path of radical left indoctrination. And our society will suffer as we are seeing now. Our society will crumble before our very eyes.