Safe and Welcoming Public Schools for All

Safe and Welcoming Public Schools for All

Since the earliest days of the pandemic, the AFT has advocated for safe in-person schooling with layered mitigation measures. We invested in an aggressive back-to-school campaign across the country, working with more than 1,800 AFT affiliates and engaging communities with 20 million students. We learned during this pandemic that one thing most Americans agree on is the importance of safe, strong, supported public schools.

The AFT and its members continue to fight for our children and their communities. America’s educators are doing all they can to meet the challenges ahead, and to help our children recover and grow. Parents and educators are partners in supporting children. And now, more than ever, we must unite to help our children through these tough times and get them back on track not just to recover but to thrive.

 

11/18/21

COVID-19 Vaccines and Children

Chief Nurse Officer Rear Admiral Aisha Mix joins AFT President Randi Weingarten, AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos, parent and educator Colleen McElligott-Liporto from Lynn, Mass., and parent and educator Veronica Lindsey from Socorro, Texas, to discuss the Biden administration’s efforts to make COVID-19 vaccines readily available for children, the ongoing efforts to combat vaccine misinformation, and partnering with parents to ensure the safety of our children.


09/30/21

Safe and Healthy Reopening of Our Schools

The AFT and Open Schools USA co-host a parent town hall. The political polarization of COVID-19 and the changing circumstances with the delta variant have left parents and educators with questions about safety protocols. And while we have different views about masks, it’s important to have experts answer questions about the use of masks in schools and the costs and benefits of their use. Open Schools USA and the AFT are joining together with experts to answer these questions. We want to hear from a range of informed voices about how to keep our students safe and in schools this fall.


10/07/21

Prioritizing Safety for Students and Staff amid New COVID-19 Surge

As we reopen schools for a new year, our members are working hard to engage parents about the importance of vaccines and how to keep our children safe, and to fight disinformation in our communities. Join leaders from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Turnaround for Children, the School Superintendents Association, the National PTA and the Office of the Surgeon General as they answer questions and share information about how we can reopen schools this fall prioritizing safety for students and staff.


03/23/21

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Affected Women and Families

Leaders from the National Hispanic Medical Association, American Medical Association, AFT Women’s Rights Committee and League of United Latin American Citizens join AFT President Randi Weingarten to discuss how to make vaccine access more equitable amid emerging disparities.


09/04/21

COVID-19 Response with Dr. Redlener

Dr. Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician and co-founder of the Children’s Health Fund, joins AFT President Randi Weingarten as he addresses mitigation strategies, testing as an early warning strategy, the federal pharmacy vaccine program for educators and child care, and the intersection of health and social justice.


01/28/21

Dr. Fauci Joins AFT and NEA for Vaccine Discussion

Dr. Anthony Fauci joins the AFT and National Education Association for a discussion about how we best support our country’s healthcare workers, students, parents, educators and school staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, and get back to in-person learning safely and equitably.


07/28/20

Conversation with Dr. Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci and AFT President Randi Weingarten discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and safely reopening schools and take questions from AFT members at the AFT’s virtual convention.

 

Union Talk Podcast Episode 1: A Safe Back to School for All

Learn how one district in Lynn, Mass., is working together for a safe and successful back to school for all. As part of her national back-to-school tour, Randi sits down with the leader of the Lynn Teachers Union, a member and parent, the superintendent and the mayor to talk about how they’re working together to safely reopen schools for in-person learning and what other districts can learn from their experience.

Back to School for All 2021

Playlist (33 videos)
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, AFT members sprang into action, and we have continued to work throughout to keep every child safe, nurtured and engaged. Our members know better than anyone how vital education is, and particularly how essential in-person learning is for our students’—pre-K through postsecondary—academic and social-emotional development.