Dave Grohl has used his bully pulpit as the president of rock and roll to defend teachers and explain why he feels rushing back to the classroom isn’t a good idea.
In an essay in The Atlantic, the head Foo Fighter presents his experience as the son of a school teacher (and single mom) and father of three to explain the risks.
While he agrees that “our children’s well-being is paramount” in the question of when to reopen schools, Grohl also considers other relevant questions. After checking in with his mom, he wonders how schools will deal with “masks and distancing, temperature checks, crowded busing, crowded hallways, sports, air-conditioning systems, lunchrooms, public restrooms, janitorial staff.”
He then notes, “Most schools already struggle from a lack of resources; how could they possibly afford the mountain of safety measures that will need to be in place? And although the average age of a schoolteacher in the United States is in the early 40s, putting them in a lower-risk group, many career teachers, administrators, cafeteria workers, nurses and janitors are older and at higher risk.”
After presenting both the pros and many obvious cons of remote learning, he still feels that, as much as the Trump administration would like to see schools open, “it would be foolish to do so at the expense of our children, teachers and schools.”
Grohl asks for a plan from the government for keeping teachers safe when schools are reopened. He concludes, “Teachers want to teach, not die, and we should support and protect them like the national treasures that they are. For without them, where would we be?”