The president of a California teachers union advocating for prolonged, science-denying school closures is facing backlash after videos surfaced of him dropping off his young daughter at an in-person, private school.
In a video posted by a group called “Guerilla Momz,” Berkeley Federation of Teachers President Matt Meyer is seen escorting his child into an educational facility while wearing a sweatshirt displaying his union’s logo and name on Feb. 18. The school, Guerilla Momz claims, has been open and operating since June 2020.
“Meet Matt Meyer. White man with dreads and president of the local teachers’ union,” the group tweeted on Saturday. “He’s been saying it is unsafe for *your kid* to be back at school, all the while dropping his kid off at private school.”
Meet Matt Meyer. White man with dreads and president of the local teachers' union. He's been saying it is unsafe for *your kid* to be back at school, all the while dropping his kid off at private school:https://t.co/BAIR5xH8LY#OpenSchoolsNow
— guerillaMomz (@GuerillaMomz) February 28, 2021
Meyer attempted to justify his actions to Fox News by saying there were “no public options for kids her age.” He also claimed there are “major differences in running a small preschool and a 10,000-student public school district in terms of size, facilities, public health guidance, and services that legally have to be provided” while advocating for a “safe return to school.”
Just one day before Meyer was spotted at the in-person preschool, he lobbied for schools in Berkley to remain closed until all teachers and other district staff members obtain their COVID vaccination, calling it, along with masking and social distancing, the “gold standard” for reopening. Despite pleas from families and medical experts for the district to reopen according to scientific research, the union led by Meyer convinced the district to keep virtual learning until at least the end of March, which is subject to week-long delays based on when teachers can get vaccinated.
Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech criticized Meyer’s behavior, explaining that teachers unions around the country are using districts’ willingness to cave to their counterfactual demands for selfish reasons.
“First off, he’s wrong when it comes to the differences in this situation,” Domenech said. “But look again what this whole thing has been. It’s been a situation where they’re holding kids hostage across the country in order to try to extract more tax dollars from you, the citizen. It’s been this whole game all along this point where not only do teachers feel that they should be able to cut ahead in line, even if they’re young, in order to get vaccinated first, but they also want to be able to extract more money from Washington, money that won’t even be spent in order to make these schools safer, but is going to be spent in future years on these different districts. It’s all a game, and people I think are frankly waking up to it and realizing that this is something that we shouldn’t be allowed to play at dice with our kids.”
— Brian Kilmeade (@kilmeade) March 1, 2021