PHOTO: Teachers Union President Slammed for Removing Mask at Conference

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten addresses a 'Let's Finish the Job for the People' rally near the U.S. Capitol on September 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. Politicians and activists called on the U.S. Senate to fulfill their commitment to taking up voting rights and pass the For the …
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American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten, who has pushed for masking in schools, is being criticized for removing her mask during the 2021 SOMOS conference in Puerto Rico.

In a reply to a social media post from Adriana Aviles, a parent who shared pictures of the union president sitting maskless with others at the conference, Weingarten tried to defend her actions, noting, “You could not be [at] #Somos or the hotel or panel [without] proof of vaccination. I had also just done a rapid Covid test & was negative,” Fox News reported Saturday.

Weingarten conceded that Aviles was correct in pointing out her hypocrisy and apologized.

“I think you are right,” Weingarten said. “If kids are wearing masks in schools to protect themselves & others educators must wear masks inside as well. I’m sorry.”

However, Weingarten was again criticized by Daniela Jampel, who is a founding member of the group Keep NYC Schools Open.

“You enjoyed not having to wear a mask, right?” Jampel asked her. “While students in the city you live in – many of whom are vaccinated – have to wear their masks for 6+ hrs every day, even outdoors, while they’re in school. If you claim to be pro-student, as you claim, it’s time to take a stand.”

Weingarten replied and said she wears “a mask most of the time indoors” and claimed her fellow panelists “took them off as people were having a hard time hearing us.”

During an interview on MSNBC’s MTP Daily in July, Weingarten said we need masks in schools “if we want kids to be in school and we want everybody to be safe and we want to keep schools open,” and did not rule out striking over states banning school mask mandates.

“Ms. Weingarten’s response articulates what so many parents already know – masks are a hindrance to communication and to learning,” Jampel recently told Fox News. “But unlike adults, when kids in school can’t understand or hear their teacher, or can’t be understood or heard themselves, they do not have the option of simply removing their masks.”

Weingarten has argued in favor of school children being required to wear masks, claiming “universal masking” was the safest way to keep schools open during the fall semester.

In September, Weingarten called governors banning mask mandates in schools “morally reprehensible.”

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