LETTER: Reader Says Vast Majority Of Wilmington Parents Want In-Person Learning, Asks Teachers Association For Solutions, Not Division

Dear Editor,

I’ll start this post by saying I strongly support the benefits of education and give teachers a lot of credit for what they do to educate children. I do, however, think a different viewpoint needs to be shared based on the recent open letter from WTA. 

As parents are being called out for their media posts in the open letter to families from WTA on 8/27, I would hope that the polarization that is felt could have some self-reflection too based on the role of WTA. Parents in Wilmington have been put in the middle between Wilmington Teachers Association (WTA) and Wilmington Public Schools (WPS). 

Examples: 

WPS sends out a community survey to parents for fall preparations, and within 72 hours, WTA is sending their own survey for parents to complete because WTA claims the WPS survey was biased.

The President of WTA is making public statements to call out the WPS Superintendent and school committee: “In the absence of any guarantee by Dr. Brand and the Wilmington School Committee that the health and safety for all staff and students in every WPS building will be ensured with their proposed hybrid model, we must advocate for a remote option as the only safe means for educating Wilmington students during a pandemic,” WTA President Jennifer Fidler told Wilmington Apple. “WTA members want to return to our schools and to our students but not if that return is likely to result in anyone getting sick or dying.” 

I can provide other examples, however the point is you cannot point the fingers at what others are doing when this behavior is coming from WTA to encourage polarization and division.

Parents have not felt heard by the WTA. The most recent presentation from the school committee shows the majority (74-90%) of parents are opting for in person learning this fall. Superintendent Brand has supported this, the school committee has supported this, AAP has supported this, the Governor has supported this, and the push back seems to continue from the Union. Questions certainly need to be answered for the safety of all, but rather than calling out others (Superintendent, school committee, parents) for their actions, I ask WTA to offer proposed solutions instead of more division. 

Public schools are a public benefit. When the public is not heard or simply ignored, this is only dividing the community further. 

Respectfully,

A very concerned parent of WPS children

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