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LA teachers union Facebook group warns members to NOT share spring break photos on social media

Los Angeles teachers have been warned to not share spring break vacation photos on social media as their union continues to hold out on returning to in-person learning a year into the pandemic amid negotiations with the school district.

A leaked screenshot from a private Facebook group called UTLA FB Group – Members Only, which has about 5,700 members, displays a note that reads: ‘Friendly reminder: If you are planning any trips for Spring Break, please keep it off of Social Media. It is hard to argue that it is unsafe for in-person instruction, if parents and the public see vacation photos and international travel.’

One of the group members wrote in the comments section: ‘Amen.’

Another chimed in: ‘or better yet, don’t travel on spring break and set an example.’  

A leaked screenshot from a private Facebook group called UTLA FB Group – Members Only displays a note that warns Los Angeles teachers to not share their vacation photos on social media amid the negotiations between the teachers union and the LA school district 

UTLA said it is not responsible for and does not monitor the content of the private Facebook group that has 5,700 members

UTLA said it is not responsible for and does not monitor the content of the private Facebook group that has 5,700 members 

News of the warning post was first reported by Fox 11 on Monday, just three days after the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), which is the union that represents staff in the Los Angeles Unified School District – the second largest in the US after New York City – voted to reject what it described as an ‘unsafe’ return to the classroom unless certain demands are met. 

For UTLA teachers to resume in-person instruction, the union is demanding that Los Angeles County be removed from the so-called ‘purple tier,’ which is the state’s most restrictive set of COVID rules, returning staff must be fully vaccinated or have access to vaccine doses and coronavirus safety measures must be in place in the classrooms, including personal protection equipment, social distancing, ventilation and daily cleaning.

Some local parents were outraged to learn of the post warning teachers to keep their vacation plans out of the public eye.  

‘It was extremely frustrating, as a parent, to see [that], hey, vacations are planned as usual for teachers, just don’t put it out in public because we need to negotiate. It’s horrible,’ Renee Bailey, who has two children in the district, told Fox 11. ‘When I see that post, it tells me that community spread and the safety of the teachers isn’t the real concern.’ 

UTLA issued a statement to Fox 11, distancing itself from the private Facebook group.   

UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz (pictured) said on Friday that 91 per cent of the nearly 25,000 union voted to reject the return to the classroom

UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz (pictured) said on Friday that 91 per cent of the nearly 25,000 union voted to reject the return to the classroom

A demonstrator holding a sign takes part in a car caravan to demand for stronger COVID-19 safety measures and an end to 'educational racism'  on February 20 in Los Angeles

A demonstrator holding a sign takes part in a car caravan to demand for stronger COVID-19 safety measures and an end to ‘educational racism’  on February 20 in Los Angeles

A demonstrator holds a poster reading 'Listen to Science' during a protest to reopen schools organized by 'Open Los Angeles Schools Now!' at the Arthur E. Wright Middle School in Calabasas, North West of Los Angeles on March 1

A demonstrator holds a poster reading ‘Listen to Science’ during a protest to reopen schools organized by ‘Open Los Angeles Schools Now!’ at the Arthur E. Wright Middle School in Calabasas, North West of Los Angeles on March 1

‘We have a diverse membership and they are able to post their views on personal Facebook pages and in this Facebook group – however, UTLA does not monitor nor is responsible for the content,’ it read. ‘We do not want to discourage a robust dialogue for members in the public square of opinion.’ 

UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said on Friday that 91 per cent of the nearly 25,000 union voted to reject the return to the classroom. 

The ballot that the teachers had voted on read: ‘A YES vote means you agree with UTLA’s leadership and will join your union brothers, sisters and siblings in organizing to resist a forced return to school sites until the three conditions for safety mentioned above have been met.

‘A NO vote means you are willing to physically return to your school or place of work under unsafe conditions even if the infection rates are still in the Purple Tier without vaccinations, and without all of the safety conditions in place such as ppe, physical distancing, ventilation or daily cleaning.’

Myart-Cruz later said in a statement: ‘This vote signals that in these most trying times, our members will not accept a rushed return that would endanger the safety of educators, students, and families.’ 

Myart-Cruz said the union's members will not accept a rushed return to the classroom

Myart-Cruz said the union’s members will not accept a rushed return to the classroom  

Gov Gavin Newsom on Friday signed into law a $6.6million school-reopening legislation

Gov Gavin Newsom on Friday signed into law a $6.6million school-reopening legislation

The vote was announced on the same day Gov Gavin Newsom signed into law a $6.6million school-reopening legislation, which offers financial incentives to districts that resume in-person instruction.    

It has been reported that an agreement between the Los Angeles County School District and UTLA to resume in-person learning could be just days away.

‘It is well overdue at this point,’ LAUSD Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said. ‘We have met the union at every turn. Our schools are safe.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said the goal is to have pre-school, elementary school students and students with learning disabilities back in the classroom by mid-April, followed by middle and high school students by the end of the month.  


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