Press Release

BTU, AFT Launch Major Ad Buy Calling on Superintendent Runcie to Stop Putting Medically High-Risk Educators in Danger

For Release: 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Contact:

Carol Herz
954-798-8515
cherz@btuonline.com
Marcus Mrowka
202-531-0689 (cell)
mmrowka@aft.org

Broward County, Fla.—Today, the Broward Teachers Union and the American Federation of Teachers launched a six-figure radio ad buy in English and Spanish to educate the Broward community and stop Superintendent Robert Runcie’s plan to put medically high-risk educators in danger.

“Even though less than half of our students are learning in person, Runcie wants to force our most vulnerable educators into environments that are risky for them,” said BTU President Anna Fusco. “These are educators with cancer, kidney disease, diabetes and other life-threating health conditions. It’s completely unnecessary to put these educators’ lives in danger when they are already teaching full time at home, and it is a betrayal of the agreement we reached in good faith to protect our most vulnerable educators.”

The ad campaign follows a lawsuit filed by BTU last week against Broward County Public Schools to prevent the school district from canceling all online teaching assignments that had been granted for a limited number of employees with very serious medical conditions.

“This is not about reopening school buildings for in-person learning for students—it’s about ensuring we keep everyone safe in a surging pandemic. You don’t put our most high-risk students or educators or their families in danger in the midst of a COVID-19 surge. It sends a message that the Broward schools are pitting life versus livelihood, and doing so for managerial convenience,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “If Runcie cares about the health and safety of educators and students like he claims, then he should honor the accommodations made to protect these educators.”

You can listen to the radio ads in English and Spanish. AL Media produced the ads.

Radio Script

“Betrayed,” :60, Radio

When they took the job as a teacher … preparing our kids for the future …  they knew there would be challenges.
But it’s been their life’s work … and they love it.
Our Broward County teachers....                                                                   
Essential … in our children’s education ... no matter the obstacles.
This past year our teachers have shown up, and risen to meet the moment ... again and again.
Some of our teachers are facing challenges of their own. Cancer, kidney disease, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions.
That’s why it’s nothing short of a betrayal when Superintendent Robert Runcie said he would force medically high-risk teachers into environments that threaten their health and could endanger their lives.
It’s not how we treat our teachers … who in the midst of COVID continue to work full time … educating our students … half of whom remain at home learning online.

This is an outrageous betrayal.

Go to ProtectOurTeachers.net and sign our petition to protect our essential workers, our teachers.

Paid for by the Broward Teachers Union and the American Federation of Teachers.

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.