Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., condemned many teachers unions for their refusal to return to in-classroom instruction during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, accusing them of "actually killing our kids."
"We've got to open up," Tuberville, 66, told Newsmax TV's "Greg Kelly Reports" on Thursday. "These teachers unions are killing, actually killing, our kids. And they need to wake up. They need go back to work, open these schools; they've got plenty of money. We have just thrown money at them, getting ready to throw another $170 billion to our schools with this reconciliation deal."
Tuberville, who began as a high school football coach before going on to coach in the college ranks at Arkansas State, Miami, Texas A&M, Mississippi, Auburn, Texas Tech, and Cincinnati, referred to studies which have linked an increase in mental health episodes, including suicide, to the closure of schools due the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
Teachers unions in several cities, including Chicago, have refused to return to the classroom, going so far as to defy court orders.
"Education is the key to freedom," Tuberville said. "And these kids who are home, they're getting in trouble. We have a huge mental health problem. And I do not understand. Teachers are first responders. They went to school, got educated to be teachers, to help young men and women. You're not just a teacher.
"You're an educator. You're a coach. You're a mentor. You're a counselor. You're also a mom and dad to kids away from home, for six or seven or eight hours. A lot of these kids don't have parents."
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