El Paso Teacher’s Group Ask for Removal of Dr. Ocaranza
When the calendar turned from 2020 to 2021 we were all hoping things would get better. It seemed like a silly idea because life doesn't pay attention to a calendar. The coronavirus wasn't going to magically go away. But that's what new years do. They provide hope. Oh how 2021 has already been tumultuous, especially for teachers and parents.
In just 4 weeks of 2021 El Paso schools have already opened up and everyone seems to be on different sides of the fence. In the most recent development, the El Paso American Federation of Teachers has requested Mayor Oscar Leeser and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego remove Dr. Hector Ocaranza as the El Paso City/County Health Authority. Ross Moore, President of the El Paso American Federation of Teachers said:
Just as it is time for a much-needed change in public health leadership at the national level in the battle against Covid-19, so too is it in El Paso. We need the right experience and background, which Dr. Ocaranza, a pediatrician, does not possess. The Covid-19 data does not portray a record of success or transparency on Dr. Ocaranza’s part, nor does it create trust and confidence in him.
While the teacher's group is calling for Ocaranza to be given the boot, others have shown support of Ocaranza. Head of El Paso's Emergency Management OperationsFire Chief Mario D'Agostino has stated that El Paso has been "lucky" to have Dr. Ocaranza heading the COVID-19 efforts in the borderland, saying:
During his tenure, Dr. Ocaranza has led our Ebola Preparedness Team, our Tuberculosis (TB) Outbreak Response Team and our H1N1 Influenza Pandemic Response Team.
I constantly hear people bringing up the argument that their business has been open throughout the pandemic, schools should be too. People that do that are comparing apples to oranges. I've spoken to a few teachers and I hear a recurring theme each time. The kids don't wear their masks or social distance. Why? Because they're kids! Parents can barely handle their 1 to 4 maniacal kids, you think they're going to be any better in larger groups?