Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Wednesday on Twitter that school and city officials ”expect that schools and classrooms will need to transition to situational virtual learning throughout the semester, especially in the coming weeks.”
Bowser, a Democrat, said, ”We are working together to keep classrooms open,” and declared: ”The best place for students to learn is in the classroom.
”Our goal is to be flexible, responsive, and guided by our students’ needs,” she said.
The announcement was part of a coronavirus ”situational update” in which she noted that all staff and students must provide negative tests before being allowed to return to school.
”If your child tests negative, are showing any symptoms and/or they are required to quarantine because they are unvaccinated and have been identified as a close contact to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, keep your student at home, regardless of their test result,” the policy reads.
The announcement drew conservative backlash, highlighting the call from Republicans to end ”home rule” for the District, which has been in place since 1973. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the authority to govern the city, but home rule has allowed the mayor and City Council those powers for almost five decades.
Republicans have argued that COVID-19 restrictions are just the latest issue that proves the need to end home rule.
”You are destroying children,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, responded on Twitter on Thursday. ”Under the Constitution – you answer to Congress. It’s time for Congress to take over DC – open schools, open restaurants & businesses, clean up jails, enforce the laws, & end the crazy.”
Others accused the mayor of acting on behalf of teachers unions instead of on behalf of students’ needs:
”[Y]ou meant to say ‘guided by teachers unions,”’ tweeted Corey DeAngelis, national director of research at the American Federation for Children and adjunct scholar at Cato Institute.
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