Should teachers be moved to the front of the vaccine line?


The Catalyst / Holly Thompson

Health care workers and first responders have received their vaccine, who is going to be next?

This year, many schools have not been able to return to school due to COVID-19. One of the many reasons that schools have not been able to go to on-campus learning is that teachers are not comfortable with teaching on campus.

In order to expedite the return to school, many people believe that teachers should be moved up in the line for getting covid vaccines.

Teachers reserve the right to be concerned about their health if they are going back into a school environment where they will be interacting with hundreds of kids.”

— Alyssa Kimoto

“I personally do believe teachers should be moved ahead in line for the covid vaccine,” said freshman Alyssa Kimoto. “However, [they] should not be moved before the elderly, healthcare workers, at-risk people, or frontline/emergency workers. Most students have not been in a physical classroom for in-person learning in almost a year. Safety absolutely comes first, and, in my opinion, a vaccine for teachers would be a step towards safe, in-person schooling that teachers may be comfortable with.”

There have been many ways that students have been able to go back on campus with the teachers still at home, but this may not be the most practical approach.

“I think this is fine. My brother is a student at Serra, where the students may be in a classroom with someone supervising while the teacher instructs the class on zoom at home,” Kimoto explained, “It’s not perfect, but once again, safety comes first. While students may feel comfortable coming back, teachers may not, and they should teach as they feel comfortable.”

There are many different ways that students could go back to school while teachers remain in the comfort of their homes. However, Kimoto believes such measures would be unsafe.

“Many students don’t feel comfortable being in a large group for in-person school for safety reasons. In addition, many students may have higher-risk people in their households, such as grandparents or family members with asthma or immune system deficiencies. Some students may have parents who are also working in person, where they are putting themselves at risk for getting COVID, and students may not want to risk transmitting that to the student body.”

“Teachers without a doubt have the right to be concerned about their health,” Kimoto added. “COVID-19 definitely needs to be taken seriously, and teachers reserve the right to be concerned about their health if they are going back into a school environment where they will be interacting with hundreds of kids, who all can get them sick.”

While yes, we understand the protocols of social distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands, etc., there will always be risks to being in large groups, and if teachers are considering returning to that environment, they should have their concerns be heard and respected.