Parents in Berkeley are turning up the heat on the president of the teacher’s union after a group of moms posted a video that they say shows hypocrisy of the union leader.
The video released by the so-called “Guerilla Momz” shows Federation of Teachers President Matt Meyer walking his two-year-old child to a private preschool.
Meyer confirmed to NBC Bay Area that he is shown in the video.
A representative from Guerilla Momz would not go on camera out of fear that teachers would retaliate against them and their children.
But Jonathan Zachreson, with an affiliated group called Reopen California Schools, said this new tactic only reinforces how frustrated parents are with delays in returning to class.
“It’s really a message of hypocrisy where we see this union representative saying it’s not safe to go back, yet he feels safe enough to take his daughter to an in-person institution,” said Zachreson.
Meyer also turned down repeated requests for an interview.
In an exchange of emails he said this was a non-issue. He wrote, in part, “Unfortunately there are no public options for kids her age. There are major differences in running a small preschool and a 10,000 person public school district in terms of size, facilities, public health guidance and services that legally have to be provided.”
Berkeley parent Mara Kolesas is also pushing for schools to open faster. She’s been critical of some of Meyer’s recent comments about the delayed timeline of in-person instruction.
“There are doctors speaking up, epidemiologists, heads of UCSF, the letters have been published,” Kolesas said. “It is safe to go back to school full-time following protocols when you have masks and vaccines.”
But she disagrees with the tactics Guerilla Momz are using in this situation.
“I think that harassing someone in their private life is not the way I roll,” she said.
The Berkeley Unified School District announced a plan for the youngest students to return to in-class learning through a hybrid model beginning March 29.
Older students will be phased in after that.
A big part of the plan involves getting the teachers vaccinated.