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Dave Grohl stands up for America’s teachers amid school reopening controversy

Dave Grohl and his mother Virginia
Dave Grohl and his mother Virginia (Image credit: Andreas Neumann)

Dave Grohl has recorded a short essay titled In Defense Of Our Teachers, in which he addresses the controversy of opening schools across the US amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Foo Fighters leader – whose mother Virginia is a retired teacher – says it’s time for the US government to listen to what teachers are saying rather than trying to force the country’s schools to reopen as COVID-19 continues to spread.

Grohl says: “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 US secretary of percussion to tell me how to play Smells Like Teen Spirit if they’d 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’ve spent countless days in a classroom devoting your time and energy to becoming that life-long 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 favourite teacher. Wouldn’t you?”

Grohl also addresses the subject of remote learning instead of an immediate return to the classroom, and while he calls it “an inconvenient and hopefully temporary solution,” he adds: "but as much as Donald Trump’s conductor-less orchestra would love to see the country prematurely 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 children, teachers and schools.”

Grohl’s audio essay is the first time he’s taken his Dave’s True Stories series from its normal home on Instagram and the first time he's recorded a piece rather than written it.