Red River United Teachers Union President Jackie Lansdale explains why teachers across northwest Louisiana should be put to the front of the COVID vaccination line.

"Clearly, if you want to keep the schools running, you need to vaccinate those that are provide the essential service called teaching," says Lansdale, emphasizing her call to prioritize educators.

"We have a number that are out are quarantine," she continues, acknowledging that sometimes here members contract the virus from those outside school. "I would certainly tell you that it's a new normal for us. We're constantly having teachers go home and into quarantine, as well as those who have tested positive.

"I see classes dismissed and kids going home because they don't have the services they need. I see teachers and staff that are retiring early. I see classes manned by substitute teachers and schools revamping their substitute policies this year.

There definitely is a huge impact on our schoolhouses."

But in reference to who in the statewide, decision making, chain of command, Lansdale refuses to point a finger Governor John Bel Edwards. "Nobody in the school system us sayin (no). The school systems are moving full steam ahead to make sure that we do. I don't know where the breakdown is in this chain. I don't see it coming from our state in terms of who should be getting the vaccine. I would say that for teachers, it's incredibly important to do it, to move them up to the quickly as possible."


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