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a group of new Jersey Teachers are speaking out after a teachers union training instructs them to interact with parents and students about a COVID-19 vaccine in a progressive campaign app used by “Squad” Queen Rep. Is. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D.Y.

The National Educators Association (NEA) has been instructing teachers to upload their interactions with students and parents in the Pragatisheel Abhiyan app. Access, say the teachers.

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Training was provided by Vaccine Equity nonprofit designed to save As well as the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

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Jennifer Mays, a drama teacher for Middletown Township Public School (MTPS) in New Jersey, told Granthshala News in an emailed statement that the NEA and other involved organizations do not see teachers as people who can think critically.

“The audacity to support this type of presentation demonstrates that NJEA, NEA, AFT and any other organizations involved do not explicitly consider teachers to be professionals or critical thinkers,” Mays told Granthshala News. “We literally teach our students to be able to look at information critically before making decisions.”

“It was a coercive attempt to coerce, manipulate and even track information about students and their parents,” Mays continued. “Anyone involved in such deception has lost their morals and the purpose of education along the way.”

New Jersey State Sen. Holly Shepsi, a Republican, told Granthshala News in an emailed statement that while she supports people getting vaccinated, teachers are encouraged to push some medical decisions while campaigning politically for students and students. to use their position of influence in the lives of their families. Using children’s data is unethical and borderline criminal.

“I strongly support vaccination and have really caught the heat to encourage others to get vaccinated,” wrote Schepisi.

“However, to put our teachers in the shaky position of using their ‘trust and influence’ on children and their parents, to persuade them to make individual medical decisions, and then to name teachers through gift cards, Encouraging these children and parents to input addresses and immunization status into a searchable politically progressive database maintained by and for Congressional Women’s AOC’s campaign team is an unintentional breach of privacy and ethics. There is political propaganda using the data of and it is bordering on criminal.”

Teachers need to use Reach to “follow up and track” conversations with parents and teachers, while offering “gift cards” for the most active users, according to training reviewed by Granthshala News. was encouraged to.

“Look at the people you’ve talked to and mark how your conversation went!” The training says with a “Enter Data” button at the end. “Then add them to your Reach Network and add their contact information so that you or Made to Save can follow them later and help them get vaccinated.”

Teachers were also told that he was a “trusted messenger” for students and instructed them to encourage others to get vaccinated and were asked to log on to the Progressive Campaign app.

“As someone you already know and trust, you can find out what the vaccine is about them, relate on a personal level, and share information to help them on their journey to vaccination. Do,” read one slide.

Tips were also given on how to go about recorded vaccine conversations.

“As a teacher or school staff member, you are a trusted messenger for many students,” read Made to Save’s suggestions for vaccine conversations. “Use these tips to guide your interactions with them and help them stay safe and sound!”

The training also provided talking points for teachers, asking them to believe that “people intend to be vaccinated unless they indicate otherwise” and to “adapt” the language to “circumstances”. Say.

“Would you like me to help you make an appointment?” A talking point read.

“I’m excited to see our students and their families safely!” Another read.

The training also asked teachers to listen to “what, if anything” is “holding” a person “behind” vaccination and planning to have them “check in a few weeks about vaccine concerns”. Encouraged to end the vaccine conversation.

Teachers were encouraged to help address “barriers” in the way of getting the vaccine, such as a lack of transportation, by working with them to establish a “transportation plan” for getting their shots.

“We are not telling people what to do or what they should think,” the “Our Approach” slide reads. “We are listening to people and responding authentically to their concerns.”

The slide continued, “You don’t need to be a health expert to have a good conversation.” “To wrap up, help the person plan vaccinations, or plan to check in on their concerns later.”

A slide entitled “Help them in their own reason” encourages teachers to do this, not by telling them “what to do or what to think” but to “get their friends and family vaccinated.” Help find your cause.”

“The reasons a person may choose to be vaccinated will always be the ones that are most compelling to them personally,” the slide reads.

Reach’s prototype and . was made for working By Ocasio-Cortez’s successful 2018 campaign, after being conceived by the campaign operator Jake DeGroot.

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According to DeGroot’s company biography, Ocasio-Cortez “had a deep involvement in the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011–2012” before moving on to the congressional campaign and reaching himself.

“We created the Reach for the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaign as a tool for ourselves when we realized that traditional door-to-door canvassing methods were limiting who we were talking to and when we could effectively We were able to collect data in the field,” the website’s “About” page reads.

“Reach has allowed us to campaign in so many new ways in streets, subway stops, and community events that it revolutionized the way we connect with our voters,” Page continues. “It’s part of how we won, and we knew campaigns run by other progressives could use it to win as well.”

The “About” page also says that the company believes “state and county Democratic parties are well equipped to be leaders” in building a voter base and progressive grassroots efforts.

A carousel on the website also displays his work with Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign.

Reach’s website also states that it has clients who are “usually rebellious progressive campaigners who may challenge the establishment of the party in their state and who have experienced discrimination, deprivation, or even disenfranchisement from their state party.” that has experienced complete opposition or hostility.”

Teachers’ concern raises several questions about what the logged data is being used for and why the NEA is using a campaign tracking app to log conversations about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Granthshala News asked both the MTPS and the NEA why they are encouraging teachers to log vaccine conversations in a progressive voter-tracking app and if they believe this approach to vaccine promotion will get more people vaccinated.

Additionally, Granthshala News asked whether students and parents would be informed whether their conversations were being implicated and whether it was ethical or plausible for them to ask teachers to clarify personal conversations with people about their medical decisions. Directly submit to the political organization.

An NEA spokesperson told Granthshala News, “NEA members want nothing more than to return safely to individual learning and the science is clear that vaccination is one of the best ways to keep students and teachers safe and in the classroom.” is one.”

“Teachers are leading the conversation to encourage people to learn more about vaccination in an effort to keep students, their families and our communities safe and healthy,” he continued.

A spokesperson for Made to Save said the nonprofit is “a non-political, non-partisan organization whose focus is to increase equitable access to vaccines and knowledge about them for communities of color most affected by the pandemic.” have been affected.”

“Made to Save relies on a careful vendor selection process that is informed by the needs of our campaign and the communities we serve,” the spokesperson continued. “We aim to add and enhance the capacity of our on-the-ground partners across the country.”

A Made to Save spokesperson also told Granthshala News that “data collected during our use of the Reach app will only be used for outreach efforts to interact with individuals about COVID-19 vaccines.”

MTPS did not respond to a request for comment from Granthshala News.

Houston Keene is a reporter for Granthshala News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.