Cleveland mom, Ohio lieutenant governor call out teachers' union for breaking deal on return to classroom

Lt. Gov. Husted tells 'Fox & Friends' teachers were prioritized for vaccines based on returning to schools

Kristina Parks, a mother of four in Cleveland, and Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted explained on "Fox & Friends" on Monday why they think children in the city need to be back in the classroom and argued that teachers aren’t keeping their "end of the deal."

Parks, who cannot work from home because one of her jobs requires her to be in a factory, said it has been "very hard" getting her children "up and in school and trying to work."

She stressed that it has "definitely" been a struggle. 


On Friday, Husted tweeted, "Cleveland school personnel jumped to the front of the line to get vaccines in return for going back to school in-person March 1."

"Now the union is violating that agreement," he went on to write. "If you weren’t going to go back to work then you shouldn’t have taken the vaccine."

Last week, the Cleveland Teachers Union (CTU) voted to continue remote instruction due to health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus, Fox 8 reported, citing a news release.

"Vaccines have been given, masks are available, those are the two essential things to reopening a school," Husted told host Brian Kilmeade.

"This is safe," he added. "We’ve done studies. The CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] says it’s OK to go back, we know from our own research in Ohio that if you’re wearing masks, even if you’re not six feet apart, it’s still very safe. The virus isn’t spreading."

In January, the CDC released a study showing that in-person learning is generally safe if schools take proper safety precautions.

Last month, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health announced their plan to offer the coronavirus vaccine to 91,000 school employees on a rolling basis over the course of the month with the goal of administering the first dose by March 1st so that students can return to the classroom, Fox 8 reported.

"We prioritized teachers and educators across the state above other people who were more likely to get sick from the coronavirus and die because we wanted school districts to be open by March the 1st," Husted told Kilmeade. "It was a deal."

"We wrote it explicitly in the document that we had all the school districts sign to say if you get the vaccine, if you get to jump to the front of the line, you need to go back by March 1," he continued. "They signed the document, they went and got the vaccines and now they’re not going back for in-person education."

Husted stressed that students are "falling behind" by not being in an in-person educational setting.

"The kids need their teachers back in school," Husted stressed.

A CTU spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. However, Fox 8 reported, citing a news release, that CTU President Shari Obrenski said, "The members of the Cleveland Teachers Union are eager to come back to the classroom to serve their students in person, but not until we can ensure a safe and orderly return."

"We need proven safeguards, like personal protective equipment, distancing, and ventilation, but the District has failed to address our concerns and to provide documentation we have requested," Obrenski reportedly continued.

Husted pointed out that legal action is not an option since "this is a local decision," but stressed that the teachers union is violating "the agreement that we had."

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"The District is confident our buildings are safe and ready for learning next week, as planned," according to a statement from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), which added that the school district "will continue to work with CTU" to "identify any specifically identified concerns in our buildings and classrooms."

Roseann Canfora, the deputy chief of communications with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), told Fox News that safety protocols are in place and the school district is ready to open safely as scheduled this week.  

"Our first in-person learning day for a relatively small number of special needs students begins at the end of this week, with orientation activities and continued remote learning scheduled throughout the week," Canfora said, adding that the second phase is scheduled to begin next week.