Rep. Jamaal Bowman: Democrats Need New Message On Schools

Rep. Bowman, a former educator and school principal
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Photos: YouTube

Washington, D.C. – In a piece published by BuzzFeed News this weekend, Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), a sitting member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, explains why Democrats need a new message on schools in the time of COVID.

Rep. Bowman, a former educator and school principal, talks about everything from vaccine mandates in schools to remote learning to the need to focus on social and emotional learning.

In case you missed it, here is what Rep. Bowman said when asked about vaccine mandates:

BuzzFeed News: Do you think that vaccine mandates are a good idea for schools and schoolchildren?

Bowman: Yes.

BuzzFeed News: Can you tell me a little bit about why?

Bowman: So our kids have already lost so much. So much learning time, so much social time, so much of what being a normal child is about, that in order for them to come together again, and get back to the new normal, which even post-COVID is going to be different, everyone needs to be vaccinated for that. It’s similar to many vaccines that babies have to take and many immunizations that need to be done before going to school. This now needs to be a part of that cocktail because we are living in a new normal. We are living in a COVID-19 new normal. So yes, should be a part of it, and it’s not just school, right? It’s playing in the park, it’s gymnastics class, it’s other extracurricular activities that kids do socially with each other, which is so important to their development. In order to get back to that in a safe way for everyone, vaccines are going to be needed.

And here is what Rep. Bowman said when asked about Democrats message on schools:

BuzzFeed News: What should be the national Democrats’ message on schools?

Bowman: Even before the pandemic, but especially now, as we talk about schools, we have to talk about care. Care and schools need to be part of the same conversation. And everything that our schools should be doing right now has to be rooted in care for kids and for families and care in response to a global pandemic. So when people are enraged about critical race theory or vaccine mandates or any of that, it’s about care for your kids. Our kids. These are all our kids. That’s the compelling message: These are our kids.

BuzzFeed News: Should national Democrats talk about schools and risk letting it become even more politicized, or leave it to states and local school systems?

Bowman: Yes we should. We have to. So I’m biased, but I think education is the most important issue in our country, and I think we should always be talking about it, and because we don’t talk about it enough, we harm ourselves as a country, overall, and then individuals harm themselves, and communities continue to suffer harm because education isn’t at the top of the agenda. It’s below economy, it’s below gun rights, it’s below other things. But we, nationally, education should be a part of the Democratic platform in terms of the national conversation, yes, especially now.

Read the full BuzzFeed News piece here.

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