Fox News host Trey Gowdy blasted teachers in Chicago and elsewhere for refusing to return to in-person classes in spite of health experts who say they can do so safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gowdy opened a segment of “Fox News Primetime” Thursday recalling how, years ago as he took his daughter to school, he saw a young boy walking briskly along the street with an oversized backpack.
He said after he dropped off his daughter, instead of reporting to work he went back to find the boy because he “could not get the image of that child out of my mind.”
Gowdy said he pulled up alongside the boy, who was still walking briskly, told him not to be afraid, and asked where he was going and if he wanted a ride.
“He called the name of the school and it was a school miles and miles away,” said Gowdy.
“I said, ‘Son, you’re not gonna make it walking. Do you want a ride?’” Gowdy continued. “He didn’t answer and frankly, I didn’t blame him. Here was this strange man asking him to get in the car.”
The former Republican congressman from South Carolina said he appealed to the boy again by telling him that no matter how fast he walked he would not make it to school in time.
“He got in the car, he said, ‘My mom overslept, I missed the bus, but I didn’t wanna miss school,’” Gowdy said.
The host said he calculated in his mind that the boy had likely been walking for an hour at the time and that “he had hours yet to go” before he would get to his school if he even made it on time before it closed for the day.
“But that was how bad he wanted to be in school,” said Gowdy. “That is the power of education.”
He went to say that education is powerful enough to change lives and the lives of others in the future, adding that the boy, “even at his young age,” appeared to understand that.
Gowdy then noted that his wife is a first-grade teacher who “gets up every morning at 4 a.m. to go teach other people’s children.”
“I would rather roof houses in July barefoot than teach six-year-olds. I couldn’t do it. She loves it,” he said, adding that during the pandemic, his wife has followed health guidelines such as wearing a mask to class but has never complained about teaching in-person classes.
“She loves the children and she knows the power of education,” Gowdy said, adding that his wife believes every day missed “hurts the children.”
He then contrasted her actions to those of teachers in Chicago and other cities “where it seems like the teachers have all the time in the world for dance videos and union meetings, but no time for the children.”
Chicago teachers have defied orders to return to in-person instruction from Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the school district, the nation’s third-largest, with union officials holding out members to continue teaching virtually until the school officials accede to new health demands after already spending millions on improvements.
“They can give you all the reasons not to back in the classroom,” Gowdy said, “but they can’t seem to find a single reason to go back in the classroom.”
Gowdy acknowledged that the teaching vocation is “hard work.” Nevertheless, he chided, “if you don’t wanna teach, go do something else.”
“I want you to keep this dichotomy in your mind: The image of a young boy walking to school for hours, getting in the car with a stranger because he understood the power of education to change his life, and now contrast that with the image of those dancing teachers in Chicago,” Gowdy said.
“That child knew the power of education and being in school. I wish the teachers in Chicago knew as much as he did,” he added.
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