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Letters to the Editor: Thank the teachers’ union for LAUSD’s extremely low COVID case count

A freshman has her temperature checked before her first day back on campus at James A. Garfield High School
A freshman has her temperature checked before her first day back on campus at James A. Garfield High School in L.A. on April 27.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I’m the mother of two students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, so I loved reading about people who attended the Reclaim Our Schools rally like 10th-grade student Maleeyah Frazier. She called for increased mental health support for kids. (“What will the school year look like in the fall? The fight is on,” May 24)

However, I was shocked to learn there was another rally held by parents who blamed the school district for “not standing up to union demands.” This quote in particular jumped out at me: “What has happened this year has been a disaster and my eyes were opened up to the fact that that disaster is due to the collusion between UTLA and our LAUSD board.”

I can’t believe anyone would use the word “collusion” to describe COVID-19 safety negotiations that are responsible for the lowest number of infections among the nation’s largest school districts.

According to the online dashboard for New York City’s schools, they’ve had nearly 26,000 coronavirus cases since reopening in September (or more than 2,800 per month). According to Chicago’s dashboard, schools there have had about 1,700 cases since they opened in March. LAUSD has had fewer than 300 cases since reopening in April.

The teachers’ union has helped save lives.

Erin Ploss-Campoamor, Los Angeles

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To the editor: My advice to parents who want to make a difference at their local school is to join a school council.

There is something called a School Site Council (SSC) at every LAUSD school. If you have a fair amount of English language learners, there is another body called the English Learner Advisory Council (ELAC). There is also a council for the Local Control and Accountability Plan.

The powers of the latter two are often granted to the SSC, much to the advantage of school leadership and to the detriment of the parents. If the parents want to be part of the decision making, they should join these councils and committees. They should demand that that the powers of the ELAC and LCAP are not delegated to the SSC.

These councils have responsibilities, but they also make budgetary decisions. The opportunities are there for parents to call the shots.

Parents, don’t sue the school district. Stop waving your signs. Nominate yourself and that parent advocate you admire to the SSC, go to the meetings, and make your voice heard.

Niels Goerrissen, Harbor City

The writer is an LAUSD elementary teacher.


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