The frustration of millions of parents across America spills out in a video-gone-viral of an outraged father screaming at members of a northern Virginia school board that they “should all be fired” for forcing children to remain at home rather than return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The man can be seen and heard shouting that the Loudoun County School Board members are “a bunch of cowards” for forcing children to remain home.
“Figure it out or get off the podium! Because you know what? There are people like me and a line of other people out there who will gladly take your seat and figure it out,” he says.
After his speech, a school board employee asked a police officer to “please make sure the gentleman leaves the board room” as he boils over with rage and shouts, “Open the freaking schools!”
A clip of the impassioned diatribe went viral after it was shared on Twitter Tuesday by former Republican congressional candidate Aliscia Andrews.
“The garbage workers who pick up my freaking trash risk their lives every day more than anyone in the school system,” the unidentified man shouted at the school board.
“If your employers knew that you were more inefficient than the DMV, you would be replaced in a heartbeat.”
The dad said he was forced to juggle his own work to appear before them with his grievance.
“You’re a bunch of cowards hiding behind our children as an excuse for keeping schools closed. You think you’re some sort of martyrs because of the decisions you’re making when the statistics do not lie that the vast majority of the population is not at risk from this virus,” he said.
Washington-area schools have a variety of policies for returning students to classrooms after kids were sent home in early 2020 due to COVID-19. But teachers fearful of the virus are resisting efforts to reopen, even though studies show low rates of virus transmission linked to in-person classes.
Loudoun County Public Schools did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
A recent notice on the school district’s website says students are 100 percent distance learning due to the pandemic. School board members discussed at their Tuesday meeting a $4.8 million appropriation from the Virginia state government to address COVID-19 needs, according to a recap posted online.
In Virginia, teachers unions are less powerful than in other states due to restrictions on collective bargaining. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, whose influence crumbled with a blackface scandal, is pushing schools to reopen.
“Our schools are safe,” Northam insisted in a speech this month.
Immediately north of Loudoun County in Frederick County, Maryland, a county teachers union is fighting a proposed “hybrid” teaching model set to take effect next month. Many other Maryland counties have schools closed, despite Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s directive last week that they should reopen by March 1.