Head of teachers’ union that fought to keep schools closed is now worried about students’ mental health

A national teachers’ union president is now worried about students’ mental health – after she and her union sought to keep schools closed, harming students’ mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten worried during a recent panel discussion on student mental health that, “for two years of disruption, two years of looking at the screens, two years of not having a normal kind of routine and rhythm, recovery is really tough.”

The hypocrisy of her observation, coming from someone who fought to keep schools closed, wasn’t lost on critics.

“The very policies Randi Weingarten pushed are exactly what caused so much disruption and harm to students across the country, and yet, she pretends to be completely unaware of where these ‘disruptions’ came from,” the parents’ rights group Free to Learn Coalition tweeted.

“Teachers’ unions fought to keep public schools closed for over a year,” national school choice advocate Corey DeAngelis told Fox News. “At least six studies have found that school districts with stronger teachers’ unions were significantly less likely to reopen in person. These union-induced school closures hurt kids socially, mentally and academically. 

“Randi Weingarten’s union even lobbied the [Centers for Disease Control] on school reopening guidance to prolong school closures. Teachers’ unions constantly engaged in fear mongering and hypocrisy while private schools, daycares, and other businesses reopened.”

Indeed, one parent tweeted to DeAngelis, “My private schooled kids who missed only a very minimal amount of time at the very beginning are just fine. Wonder why?”

Weingarten also said in the panel discussion that, “We have to work with [parents, kids and teachers] because they are putting their faith in us.” Yet, she wrote in an op-ed that “extremists” and “far-right advocates of privatizing public education are using Big Lies to undermine public schools.”

And, much like the National Association of School Boards’ comparison of parents to domestic terrorists, Weingarten compared the expressed concerns of parents to Russian ruler Vladimir Putin’s “unchecked disinformation and dehumanization” in the war against Ukraine.

“She must think parents are stupid,” DeAngelis said. “Thankfully, parents aren’t dumb and they won’t fall for Randi’s desperate attempts to rewrite history. They will never forget what happened over the past two years, the role that the union bosses played, and the damage it did to their own children.”