City of Beverly Hills | Education
Parents and Teachers Speak Out
We can all agree our teacher’s safety is important, but as a physician myself, my life and the lives of all health workers are just as important. The lives of grocery store workers, police officers, firemen and all the other essential workers are as important. Yet we all have been working the past year for you and your families while our BHUSD teacher’s union is playing politics with our children’s education. The rest of the country and nation is getting back to school.
During the Feb. 23 Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting, the District heard extensive public comment on the topic of the reopening of in-person learning. Both parents and teachers voiced their opinions. Below are excerpts from those voices.
“We can all agree our teacher’s safety is important, but as a physician myself, my life and the lives of all health workers are just as important. The lives of grocery store workers, police officers, firemen and all the other essential workers are as important. Yet we all have been working the past year for you and your families while our BHUSD teacher’s union is playing politics with our children’s education. The rest of the country and nation is getting back to school. These schools recognize science and understand that teachers are at very low risk for infection from school aged children. As vaccines become available for teachers, I hope the board and the teacher’s union come to their senses and get back to in person school. If the rest of the nation can get back to work. So can the teachers.”
Dr. Alan Naim
“I am writing to voice my frustrations with the reopening plan and all of the drama surrounding it. I completed the survey and chose to remain virtually, mostly because I have three children at three different schools. And as a working mom, the logistics of dropping my daughter off and picking her up for two and a half hours of school was too much. She has also thrived in virtual kindergarten, which I know is not the case for every child. However, my frustration is stemming from the survey being sent out with little other information aside from the schedule to now reopening in two weeks and still not any additional information being provided to us parents about what that might look like. I have considered changing my decision to in person, since almost all of the other kids in our class are doing that. I woke up this morning to over 25 text messages and an email from our teacher, and it seems the issue is that the teacher’s contracts are being breached by the reopening plan. And now we have no schedule for this week regardless of what we choose. This is ridiculous. Why would a reopening date be published without the employees being on board? Now our kids are suffering because the district was not buttoned up about the plan. It seems like this should be standard to make sure employees are aligned and ok with the plan before delivering the product to the customer. This is not acceptable. We pay too much in taxes to live in this district and we expect better.”
Lea Anne Robertson
“We know for a fact that many families have been traveling domestically and abroad during spring break, thereby putting the teachers and their families at risk. Why can’t you postpone the start date until 10 days after the end of spring break? This 10 day period will allow families to quarantine before going back to school and possibly infecting teachers. It will also give teachers an additional month to get vaccinated, thereby allowing teachers to return to their class at the school site. These three additional weeks will not impact students any more than they have already been. Please keep teachers safe, keep students and families safe. Keep your promises.”
Tracy McGregor, Horace Mann 3rd grade teacher
“This past year has been incredibly challenging for our children. Children have suffered physically, psychologically and academically. It will take a long time for our children to recover from the trauma of living during a pandemic. It’s imperative for schools to follow the science and the recommendations of doctors and other professionals by opening the schools as soon as possible. Dr. Bregy and Board President Mrs. Marcus are rising to the challenge and working diligently to do what’s in the best interest of our children by returning students to schools safely. “
Elham “Ellie” Samadi
“I understand that many are eager to reopen school safely, and I know that recent guidelines have been changed, but it is mind boggling that the district somehow thinks that the best way to do this is to knowingly violate the MOU and completely blindside the teaching staff. The districts claim that negotiations with the union have been ongoing cannot be further from the truth. Since the last MOU was signed in December, the only bargaining meeting that took place was just this last Friday on the 19th. Teachers are now faced with unanswered questions, fear, anger, worry, and feeling disrespected. Trust is broken here. And the only way to mend this is to continue to bargain with us in good faith. Imposing top-down decisions and violating contracts are never the right approach.”
Judith Chen, Horace Mann music teacher