AFT President Randi Weingarten was interviewed by CBSN’s Nikki Battiste on March 29, and when asked about the disparities in school reopenings, Weingarten cited facilities and trust as the primary factors.

“The places that were the hardest to reopen were the places that had the worst conditions, that had the worst facilities,” Weingarten said. “And those places tend to be places, unfortunately, where the majority of black and brown kids go to school.”

She added, “The second issue is the trust of parents. … COVID itself had hugely, disproportionately affected black and brown communities; there’s more preexisting conditions, health conditions in black and brown communities; and there’s been a lot of misinformation about what COVID does or doesn’t do. And so we have to find ways to create trust with black and brown parents that their schools are safe.

“And one of the best ways to do that — and we feel a real responsibility for this — is that when teachers and other education support personnel feel that schools are safe, that is a proxy to parents that schools are safe.”

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