Cecily Myart-Cruz is the head of United Teachers for Los Angeles
A left-wing LA teacher’s union boss who wanted to keep schools closed because of COVID but limit Zoom classes to just four hours a day now says it doesn’t matter if kids missed traditional education, such as class times, because they learned about BLM riot instead.
Cecily Myart-Cruz — who has claimed in the past that reopening schools was racist and who insists education is “political” — made the comments in an interview with Los Angeles Magazine.
The ultra-awake teacher is the head of The United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents 33,000 teachers from the LA Unified School District.
Rather than focusing solely on issues affecting parents, teachers and students in LA schools, she has focused on issues such as the Israeli-Palestine conflict, Medicare for all, and protesting California’s eviction laws.
Most notably, she has fought Gavin Newsom over his plan to reopen schools last April. She said it was racist towards communities where COVID-19 was more ubiquitous and that were mostly minorities or lower-income communities.
She also said her teachers wouldn’t teach remotely for more than four hours a day, claiming it was because it wasn’t good for kids to be behind screens in front of a logger.
Asked about how lockdowns negatively impacted children, she said: LA Magazine: ‘There is no such thing as learning loss. Our children have lost nothing. It’s okay that our babies may not have learned all their times tables.
“They learned resilience. They learned to survive. They learned to think critically. They know the difference between a riot and a protest.
“They know the words insurrection and coup.”
She also snapped at the reporter for suggesting that some of her approaches are “radical,” saying, “It’s not radical to ask for ethnic studies.
‘It is not radical to ask for childcare. It is not radical to ask for police-free schools so that students do not feel criminalized. That’s not radical; that’s just a fact.’
Her other comments included ‘reopening schools without wider school improvement will be unsafe and increase racial and class inequality’ and ‘You can remember the governor, you can remember the school board. But how are you going to call me back?’
Most notably, Myart-Cruz has fought Gavin Newsom over his plan to reopen schools last April. She said it was racist towards communities where COVID-19 was more prevalent and that were mostly minorities or lower-income communities
Before becoming head of the teachers’ association, Cecily Myart Cruz attended the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies and then Mount Saint Mary’s, a Catholic women’s college in Brentwood. She graduated in 1995 and moved on to Pepperdine to earn her teaching degree – where the cost is now $80,000 per year.
She began her teaching career in Compton and then attended an elementary school in Westwood, where children at first thought she was being too strict, but eventually “came to love her,” according to a teacher who taught alongside her.
She is now separated from her husband of 16 and the couple share a 10-year-old son.
Now she is in a relationship with VanCedric Williams, an elected member of the Oakland Unified School Board, according to the Los Angeles Magazine article.
She then went on to teach at Mesa Elementary in Crenwshaw, where students and their families were less wealthy. She didn’t last long there, according to former colleagues.
In 2020, the former head of the union – Alex Caputo Pearl – reached his term limit, he approved her to take over. She retired from teaching in 2014 to devote herself full-time to the union and was part of the leadership team when the dues increased from $689 per year to $917 in 2016.
She took over in February 2020 — a month before the pandemic closed schools across America and the world.
There are 33,000 teachers in the union, but only 5,000 voted in the election where she became president with 69 percent of the vote – about 3,500 votes.
Earlier this year, she blamed “white wealthy parents” for wanting to get kids back into the classroom, saying: “Unfortunately, the plan reverts to deeply flawed ideas in Gavin Newsom’s December proposal to provide school districts with more money if they open faster.
“If you make funding dependent on the reopening of schools, that money will only go to white and wealthier schools that don’t have the transfer rate that low-income black and brown communities have.”