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People think they’re qualified to opine on our schools, our students, our teachers, and our unions when they haven’t been in a public school since they were students themselves, or since they went to the principal’s office to bail little Johnny out of kiddie jail for writing on the bathroom walls.

Too many people still assume that education is a level playing field in this state. Try working in an 81-year-old school and not being able to open your classroom windows because they’d fall out, or in, or down like a guillotine if the history books holding them up are knocked aside. Or try washing your hands one-handed in the teachers' restrooms, where the faucet knobs are set so that the teacher doesn’t leave the lukewarm water on.


The litany of inequities faced by students in urban districts and the teachers who teach them goes on and on. This is reality for tens of thousands of us in Boston, Fall River, New Bedford, Worcester, Lawrence, Lowell, etc.

But we teachers should just show up, shut up, be happy we have a job, and let COVID roulette figure out which one of us, or our family members, will die a slow and horrible death. Because we should be happy that we have a job and, of course, that we have summers off.

Richard Maynard


The writer recently retired from the Fitchburg Public Schools after 30 years.