Raleigh – As Mike Pence and Betsy DeVos’s visit Apex today, former Governor Bev Perdue and North Carolina education leaders are speaking out against the Trump administration’s reckless school reopening push that would put our students, teachers and school staff at risk. Watch their video messages below:
Former North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue
“This global pandemic has made us rethink everything in our world, especially the start of school. How will it be safe for your child, or grandchild, or neighbor’s child to go to school this year? Vice President Pence is coming to North Carolina today. He’s visiting a school in The Triangle. I hope while he’s there that he’ll talk about his plan and the president’s plan for the reopening of schools in America. I believe it’s a plan that is rushed, that is ill thought out […] Educators should be the most important professionals in the country. […] I believe the data should guide the choices the counties are making and that systems are making. Joe Biden believes that.
Tamika Walker Kelly, president of North Carolina Association of Educators
“The president’s continued remarks around school reopening are reckless and dangerous. Covid is very real, and forcing educators and students back into school buildings for partisan purposes could lead to very dangerous results. We must continue to center the expertise of our medical and public health officials. We must listen to the science before we consider reopening school buildings. Safety must be the first priority for educators and students before we talk about reopening schools.”
Amanda White, president of the New Hanover County Association of Educators
“Due to a lack of proper funding in terms of equipment and human resources, our schools can simply not reopen right now. Here in North Carolina, Governor Cooper understands what it takes to get back to normal while stopping the spread of the virus. So why isn’t President Trump and Vice President Pence taking the deaths of nearly 2,000 North Carolinians and 150,000 Americans seriously?”
“The Trump administration is trying to bully our schools into reopening without any regard for teacher or student safety,” said NCDP Communications Director Austin Cook. “Teachers and students desperately want to return to the classroom, but as case numbers rise, it’s clear that Trump has completely failed to create an environment where it’s safe to do so. It is imperative that North Carolina’s education leaders be heard on this critical issue, but Pence and DeVos clearly aren’t interested in listening.”