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Teachers concerned with safety are not ‘disrupters’

An Andover Public Schools classroom, photographed by a member of the Andover Education Association.Andover Education Association

Re “Teachers lose in bid to disrupt reopening: Andover union’s refusal to train inside schools is ruled an illegal strike”: I’ve perceived an anti-union and anti-teacher bias in the Globe, and both seemed to be on display in the headline and first sentence of Thursday’s front-page article. The Andover Education Association was attempting to ensure safety for its members, its students, and its community. If you want to correctly locate the source of “disruption,” train your gaze upon the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Governor Baker. It is there that you will find last-minute decisions designed to impose an imaginary safety in the midst of a continuing pandemic.

Yes, I taught for 35 years in Massachusetts as a proud union member. And, yes, my daughter is a teacher, And, yes, my grandsons are assigned to attend a school that is 115 years old with no HVAC system, and the windows don’t open. Let’s disrupt that death trap.


Andrei Joseph


“Teachers lose in bid to disrupt reopening,” screams the headline above the fold on Thursday’s front page. Why is the Globe portraying teachers as disrupters?

Was their goal to disrupt? No. The teachers' goal was to provide remote instruction. And why did they want to provide instruction remotely, especially when remote instruction requires three times the planning of in-person instruction? Because they are concerned that the building ventilation systems are not sufficient to ensure worker (and student) occupational health and safety during a pandemic.

If you want to be evenhanded, you might try headlines such as “Teachers lose bid to work remotely” or “State board denies teacher safety concerns.” I prefer the latter because it makes clear who is responsible for a decision that may cost people their lives or their long-term health.

Louise Marcoux