I know, I know, I know.
It was probably supposed to be made in jest. But I’m not laughing.
During the 10am North Carolina Coronavirus Task Force Press Conference on the morning of April 24th, State Superintendent of Schools, Mark Johnson suggested that parents buy teachers the beer, Corona, from the grocery store during Teacher’s Appreciation Week that is coming up starting May 4th.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a tweet from NC Health News’ Rose Hoban:
Joking about buying teachers beer when excessive alcohol consumption costs the state of North Carolina $7 BILLION a year. Billion with a B. Making jokes about the word Corona during the pandemic is something that my high schoolers have not made, at least to my face since remote learning has started. But there goes the State Superintendent making a joke about Coronavirus, as it continues to kill thousands of people in the United States and across the world every single day.
What would mean the most to me this Teacher’s Appreciation Week is an email saying that my students are healthy, both mentally and physically. That they are doing well. Heck, maybe even that they miss my class.
But suggesting that they buy me something, especially beer, when hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians have lost their jobs, is not funny. It is beyond the pale, especially from an elected official during this time.