Frustrated Twin Cities teachers march together on Lake St. bridge

Minneapolis and St. Paul teachers march together on Lake Street Wednesday.

Minneapolis and St. Paul teachers are frustrated and Wednesday they marched across the Lake Street bridge from one city to the other in solidarity.

“Right now, we are in a time like no other,” said Greta Callahan, president of Teacher Chapter MFT Local 59. “We’re having major equity issues with our distance learning for our students. We have major safety issues for those of our members who are working on site right now.”

Lindsey West, a 5th Grade Teacher in Minneapolis, said she is a believer that distance learning is the right thing for the district right now.

“The only thing I’m saying is when something’s not working we can take a step back and say, how do we do this better?” she said.

Union teachers in the district say they know how things can be improved, like more flexibility with how the classes meet online.

Wednesday, St. Paul teachers joined their Minneapolis colleagues.

“What brought me out today is that I fear too many people are moving too quickly,” said Beth Swanberg, who said moving too quickly toward hybrid learning could send everyone back to classrooms that aren’t yet safe.

St. Paul Public Schools said they’ve met 23 of its 24 readiness targets for a phased return to school in the hybrid format. The one thing holding that up is the teachers union.

“I am disappointed that SPFE leadership is in opposition to the return of our students to the classroom,” said Superintendent Dr. Joe Gothard. “While our families are demanding SPPS moves to hybrid learning, our teachers union is delaying our ability to do so.”