Philadelphia public school teacher worries about 'conservative' parents listening in on virtual classes

Schools face reopening challenges nationwide amid coronavirus pandemic

New research points to children carrying and transmitting the coronavirus; Bryan Llenas reports on the latest.

A Philadelphia public school teacher is curious about how educators will cope with “conservative parents" listening in on virtual classes, according to a thread captured on Twitter.

According to a report by the Daily Wire, Matthew Kay, who teaches English at the Science Leadership Academy said on the social media platform that he is concerned about the “damage” that “helicopter parents” might cause if they overhear lessons on topics such as gender and sexuality.

“So, this fall, virtual class discussion will have many potential spectators — parents, siblings, etc. — in the same room. We’ll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work?” Kay tweeted. “How much have students depended on the (somewhat) secure barriers of our physical classrooms to encourage vulnerability? How many of us have installed some version of ‘what happens here stays here’ to help this?”

While Kay acknowledged that "damage can come from the left too," he noted that "conservative parents" are his chief concern when teachers are engaging “in the messy work of destabilizing a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia.”

“While conversations about race are in my wheelhouse, and remain a concern in this no-walls environment — I am most intrigued by the damage that ‘helicopter/snowplow’ parents can do in the host conversations about gender/sexuality," he tweeted. "And while ‘conservative’ parents are my chief concern — I know that the damage can come from the left too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia — how much do we want their classmates’ parents piling on?”

Since the thread, Kay's account has since been switched to private. He did not immediately return FOX News' request for comment.


The comments come as schools are determining the best method of instruction for the upcoming school year.

The School District of Philadelphia announced last month that its schools will start the year with all students learning remotely for the first marking period which ends November 17th. Students will then transition to the hybrid learning model, which includes a mix of in-person and digital learning, "as long as guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and other indicators support that it is safe to do so."

"As we look ahead, we are approaching a school year that will look and feel unlike any other. We know that COVID-19 conditions in Philadelphia and the surrounding area will continue to evolve. That means the guidance we must follow from city, state and federal health authorities will also evolve — sometimes very quickly. This is our new reality. We must all be prepared for it," the school district superintendent said in a statement. "We have a fundamental responsibility to educate our students continuously throughout the school year, and we are fully committed to doing so safely, thoughtfully, and with equity and facts guiding our decision making."


Earlier this week, a Paulding County, Georgia high school reported several cases of coronavirus after a viral photo circulated on social media of a hallway crammed with students as classes resumed in person last week.

In this photo posted on Twitter, students crowd a hallway, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga. The 30,000-student suburban Paulding County school district in suburban Atlanta resumed classes Monday with 70% of students returning for in-person classes five days a week, days after the principal at North Paulding announced some members of the football team had tested positive for COVID-19. The district says it is encouraging mask use, but isn’t requiring it. (Twitter via AP)

According to a report by FOX5 Atlanta, North Paulding High School Principal Gabe Carmona alerted parents that at least six students and three staff members who were physically at school last week have since tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, another school district in Cobb County, Georgia said it will continue with online-only classes after the Georgia Department of Health alerted it to about the 100 potential cases, according to a report by WSB-TV.


A new report released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found children under the age of 18 are "at risk for severe COVID-19."

From March 1 to July 25, 576 children were reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19. The cumulative COVID-19–associated hospitalization rate among children during the period was 8 per 100,000 and was highest among children under 2 years old at 24.8 per 100,000.

Meanwhile, rates were "substantially lower" in children between the ages of two and four at 4.2 and the ages of five and 17 at 6.4. Infants under the age of 3 months accounted for 18.8% of all children hospitalized.

The median patient age was 8 years, and 292, or 50.7% of the reported cases, were males.

Among 526, or 91.3%, of children for whom race and ethnicity information were reported, 241 (45.8%) were Hispanic, 156 (29.7%) were Black, 74 (14.1%) were white; 24 (4.6%) were non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander; and four (0.8%) were non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native.

Hispanic and Black children were nearly eight times and five times, respectively, the rate in white children.

In addition, out of 222, or 38.5%, of the 576 children with information on underlying medical conditions, 94 or 42.3%, had one or more underlying conditions.


As of Monday afternoon, Philadelphia's Department of Public Health reported 31,448 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,699 deaths related to the pandemic.

Coronavirus cases have surpassed 5 million in the United States, with more than 163,000 Americans who have died and more than 1.6 million who have recovered, according to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University.

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