Thanks to the New York Times article published on April 3, titled “Fed Up With Remote Learning, Governors Make a Push to Reopen Schools," we now know that governors throughout the nation are finally publicly recognizing the folly that is remote learning. As New Jersey parents, we sit on the sidelines watching as they take belatedly forceful action, wondering all the while, where is our governor? The governor that so many of us championed for continues to offer suggestions rather than making mandates or providing incentives.

Imagine the depths to which his pockets are lined by the New Jersey Education Association for him not to show any serious movement beyond his lip service and continued non-urgency?

Politicians and union leaders such as Montclair Education Association President Petal Robertson, Montclair Mayor and incoming NJEA President Sean Spiller and Essex County Commissioner Brendan Gill are just playing the game for their careers. Their actions are shamelessly wrapped in self-interest, rather than in the interest of the families and children of Montclair. Gov. Phil Murphy has waved power in their faces for the last 13 months and they, as many would, decided to grab it.

One does enough digging and discovers the nauseating reality that the NJEA has donated millions to our fine governor. It's the New Jersey political machine that has allowed this to happen to the kids here. Montclair is one of the last districts in the state to attempt to go back to in-person learning. What sort of court settlement allows for yet another five weeks of no school with a start date being the first day after spring break? It's as if they are asking for a few COVID-19 cases to pop up to prove some delusional and debunked point about safety and spread.

Murphy has botched this issue to the highest possible degree. The inaction by all the parties involved here has crossed the unimaginable, unspeakable line of seriously harming a whole lot of kids. In any other format or setting this would constitute abuse. With the plethora of science and data that has now been collected, school closures and 6 feet distancing forcing hybrid schedules has been proven unwarranted. May all of those who have led by obstruction pay for this injustice. Parents have not and will not turn a blind eye to the corrupt realities of the past year. We see quite clearly, and when it’s time to cast our vote, we will remember.

Megan Brune Felber, Ryan Coakley, Mark Davis, John Farb, Lisa Lawrence, Jay Lehman, Daniel Lewen, Michelle Silver, Daryn Sirota, Cathy Turiano Patullo, Jillian Ventura Nolan


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