Former Michigan U.S. Senate candidate John James railed at teachers’ unions for continuing to oppose in-person instruction, saying it is disproportionately hurting black and disadvantaged children and will set them back a generation.
In an interview with Fox News’ Katie Pavlich Thursday, James — a Republican who ran against incumbent Democratic Sen. Gary Peters — first touted school choice and suggested that private and charter schools should be part of the conversation in getting kids back in classrooms.
In terms of recalcitrant teachers’ unions, Pavlich noted that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) warned a year ago that keeping kids out of in-person classroom instruction would have an outsized negative impact on minority and disadvantaged children the most.
James, a businessman, West Point graduate, and U.S. Army Apache pilot who served multiple tours in Iraq, agreed.
(Source: Fox News)
“Some of the people making these decisions still have Black Lives Matter yard signs on their lawn, and they’re perpetuating the worst racially divided educational system since the Jim Crow era all over the country,” he told Pavlich. “This is something that is a basic civil right that’s being violated, not just of black children, but of all children, but black children are disproportionately, negatively affected.”
“Make no mistake, our education system was far from perfect before the pandemic,” James continued. “In places like Detroit, the literacy level was far below, far below the national average.
“In fact, our state had to settle with former students who believe and I agree, that literacy is a basic civil right. I believe that a quality education is a basic civil right and anyone who stands in the way of that should be held accountable,” he noted further.
Pavlich responded by noting that a school board official in California is pushing back on parents who are demanding the school be reopened, likening it to fostering “white supremacist” ideology.
“I hate racism in all its forms, and racism doesn’t know a color,” James replied. “I believe that right now, this is not a matter of Democrat or Republican. It’s a matter of policies that work and policies that don’t. It’s a matter of what is best for our children and what is not.”
He went on to cite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations as well as scientific studies showing that in-person education during the lingering pandemic is safe. He insisted that “what is best for our children, according to the CDC and according to science, is in-person education.”
“Right now, we are in a situation where truancy is at an all-time high, achievement is at an all-time low. And if you can’t read, you can’t work. If you can’t study and learn, you’re going to set an entire generation back with no answer,” James noted further. “Safely and sensibly opening is the Democrat version of repeal and replace” of Obamacare.
“When you hear that from officials, they have no plan, and they have no plan because they’re afraid of being wrong and they’re afraid of being wrong because they care more about getting re-elected than they care about our children’s futures,” James said. “That’s wrong. They should be accountable.”
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