Baltimore teachers demand ‘masks, tests and plexiglass!’

SLL photos: Bayani

On Sept. 30, the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) held a protest and die-in in front of the Baltimore City Public Schools headquarters in Baltimore City.

Diana Desierto, BTU member and speech language pathologist, explained: “I am out here for the National Day of Resistance to make sure that our students, families and staff in Baltimore City are prepared and will be accommodated with all the things they need to return to school safely. 

“I’m here to support my students and their families. It’s been a struggle for them and for all of us. Of course we want to go back to school, we just want to go back safely.” 

Baltimore County teacher Jen Russo said: “I want to make sure that all teachers and students are heard in this crisis. Really, the Board of Education in all counties isn’t listening to teachers, even though it’s their safety and lives at stake.” 

Among the attendees were two members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union. Worker Jeffery Reeve explained why he came in solidarity: “UFCW Local 400 members have been on the frontlines since day one. Two hundred and sixty-nine of UFCW-represented grocery workers have gotten COVID. They’re union, I’m union, and I’m always looking for some good trouble.” 

BTU leaders led a chant that clarified some of their demands: “Masks, tests, and plexiglass!”

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