The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the second-largest teachers’ union in the U.S., has unveiled a national ad campaign calling for schools to reopen for in-person classes this fall.
The Hill reported the ads will air on CNN and MSNBC nationally while appearing on Pandora and YouTube in 12 states over the next three weeks. The union is spending seven figures on the TV and digital spots.
In one of the ads, a narrator says: “It’s all coming together. And teachers and school staff have worked hard to get us here, securing federal funding, vaccines and making sure public schools are welcoming and safe for everyone.”
And one woman, identified as a public school teacher, is shown saying: “This fall, it’s back to school – five days a week.” The ad then cuts to another teacher who says: “We’re excited to be with our students in-person.”
The ad then shows a student’s mother, who says: “As a parent, I had concerns, but with safeguards in place, I’m ready now.”
The Hill noted the AFT is touting its support for in-person instruction after critics had accused teachers’ unions of not backing reopening of schools during the pandemic.
AFT President Randi Weingarten said last month that her union always has wanted the nation’s children to return to schools for five days a week, but it took until now for national guidance to prove that in-class learning could be done safely amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have seen the vaccines really work,” Weingarten told CNN’s “New Day.” “We have always wanted to be back in school. Last April, a month after everything shut down, we were the first ones to put our report out about how to get back to in-school learning, because we knew that in-school learning was vital for kids.”
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