Private Facebook group cites optics of taking vacations during shutdown
The Los Angeles teachers’ union has voted against returning for in-person learning until its demands are met, but there’s nothing to stop instructors from partying over spring break, which could be a problem.
A private Facebook page for Unified Teachers of Los Angeles members warned its followers against posting vacation photos, citing the optics of traveling for fun while refusing to travel to the classroom, as shown on a screenshot obtained by FOX 11 in Los Angeles.
“Friendly reminder: If you are planning any trips for Spring Break, please keep that off of Social Media,” said the post on “UTLA FB GROUP – Members Only.” “It is hard to argue that it is unsafe for in-person instruction, if parents and the public see vacation photos and international travel.”
The warning on the Facebook page, which has 5,600 followers, came days after the union announced that 91% of its ballot-casting members voted March 1-5 against returning for in-person instruction over novel coronavirus concerns.
The vote came in favor of resisting a “premature and unsafe physical return to school sites” until “safety conditions are in place,” including daily cleaning and improved ventilation; staff are fully vaccinated or have access to full vaccinations, and Los Angeles County “is out of the purple tier,” the most restrictive level.
“This vote signals that in these most trying times, our members will not accept a rushed return that would endanger the safety of educators, students, and families,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said in a Friday statement.
The union responded that it was not responsible for Facebook posts by teachers or private groups.
“We have a diverse membership and they are able to post their views on personal Facebook pages and in this Facebook group – however UTLA does not monitor nor is responsible for the content,” the UTLA told Fox 11. “We do not want to discourage a robust dialogue for members in the public square of opinion.”
The Chicago Teachers Union came under fire in January after Sarah Chambers, an executive board member, posted a photo Dec. 31 showing her lounging poolside in Puerto Rico with the caption “pool life” as the union fought reopenings.