Dave Grohl has spoken out in defense of teachers as the Trump administration continues its “daunting and evermore politicized question of reopening our schools in the coronavirus pandemic.”
In the first audio version of the Foo Fighters founder’s “Dave’s True Stories” series, Grohl — whose mother (pictured with him above) was a public school teacher — says:
“Every teacher has a ‘plan.’ Don’t they deserve one too? My mother had to come up with three separate lesson plans every single day (public speaking, AP English, and English 10), because that’s what teachers do: They provide you with the necessary tools to survive. Who is providing them with a set of their own? America’s teachers are caught in a trap, set by indecisive and conflicting sectors of failed leadership that have never been in their position and can’t possibly relate to the unique challenges they face. I wouldn’t trust the U.S. secretary of percussion to tell me how to play ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ if they had never sat behind a drum set, so why should any teacher trust Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to tell them how to teach, without her ever having sat at the head of a class? (Maybe she should switch to the drums.) Until you have spent countless days in a classroom devoting your time and energy to becoming that lifelong mentor to generations of otherwise disengaged students, you must listen to those who have. Teachers want to teach, not die, and we should support and protect them like the national treasures that they are. For without them, where would we be?
“May we show these tireless altruists a little altruism in return. I would for my favorite teacher. Wouldn’t you?”
Listen to the entire broadcast here.
He also noted that several other musicians — Adam Levine, Tom Morello, Haim, Josh Groban and others — are also the children of school workers.
“Teachers are also confronted with a whole new set of dilemmas that most people would not consider,” he continues. “There’s so much more to be addressed than just opening the doors and sending [children] back home, my mother tells me on the phone. Now 82 and retired, she runs down a list of concerns based on her 35 years of experience: Masks and distancing, temperature checks, crowded bussing, crowded hallways, sports, air-conditioning systems, lunchrooms, public restrooms, janitorial staff. Most schools already struggle from a lack of resources. How can they possibly afford the mountain of safety measures that will need to be in place?”
Grohl concludes by presenting the imperfect alternative of continuing remote teaching. “Remote learning is an inconvenient and hopefully temporary solution, but as much as Donald Trump’s conductor-less orchestra would love to see the country reopen schools in the name of rosy optics, ask a science teacher what they think about White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s comment that ‘Science should not stand in the way.’ It would be foolish to do so at the expense of our students, teachers and school.”