AFT president visits Dallas, meets with school officials and members on safety issues

AFT President Randi Weingarten stands center, masked, with Dallas ISD Superintendent Michale HInojosa (masked) and union leaders
Dallas ISD Superintendent, Dr. Michael Hinojosa (center left), (then to right) AFT President Randi Weingarten, Alliance-AFT President Rena Honea, and Alliance-AFT Executive Vice President George Rangel.)

Randi Weingarten, national president of our 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, visited with Dallas members and school officials Thursday on her “Back to School for All” tour to stress safety protocols to keep schools open.

Weingarten met with Dallas ISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa and local leaders on the importance of mask requirements, vaccinations, and improved ventilation to ensure a safe school year. She also highlighted the morally reprehensible stance of Gov. Greg Abbott, who has repeatedly ignored science and thrust children and educators into harm’s way by resisting sensible safety protocols.

Weingarten has been crisscrossing the country and Texas this fall, visiting 20 states and 24 cities to let families know that schools can reopen and stay open with safety and health protocols in place.

Accompanying Weingarten in Dallas was Texas AFT President Zeph Capo, who emphasizes the state union’s efforts to educate the public about safety protocols, including digital and video ads on the need for local mask decisions and vaccination. Additionally, the local union for Dallas ISD, Alliance-AFT, and its president, Rena Honea, have led efforts on the “Back to School for All” campaign, including:

  • Members knocking on almost 5,000 doors in low-income neighborhoods in Dallas connecting with parents to support a safe return;
  • Members reaching out to parents via phone and text to support masks;
  • Members advocating to ensure Dallas was one of the first ISDs to get a mask mandate;
  • Texas AFT is running a local advertising campaign on TV, online, and newspapers to support vaccines among parents and kids over the age of 12 (Watch the vaccination video and our video for local decision-making on masks and investments in air quality on campuses).