[Congressional Record Volume 167, Number 34 (Tuesday, February 23, 2021)]
[Page H551]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  (Ms. BOURDEAUX asked and was given permission to address the House 
for 1 minute.)
  Ms. BOURDEAUX. Mr. Speaker, I rise today, as we celebrate Public 
Schools Week, to talk about the urgent need to protect our teachers, 
educational support staff, all of their families, and the community at 
large in our schools.
  While the national debate has centered around schools that are 
closed, in many States, such as Georgia, school districts with high 
COVID transmission rates are back to in-person teaching, but often 
without basic safety standards in place, such as requiring students to 
wear masks on school property.
  Teachers and staff in Georgia do not enjoy the protection of strong 
teacher unions, and the State has exempted schools from liability 
around COVID. A teacher recognized for excellence in Forsyth County, in 
my district, chose to quit her job.
  She wrote me, saying: Fortunately, my family earns enough money for 
me not to return to teach, but there are some others who don't have 
this blessing and are forced into dangerous circumstances. They can't 
speak up. They know their employment would be on the line if they did. 
So unless others like me speak up and out, this mess will continue.
  Mr. Speaker, I join this teacher in speaking out. We owe our 
educators the courtesy of basic public health protection. We owe them 
prioritization in receiving the vaccine.