Support

Arlington teachers union press release gets national attention after local mom’s edits go viral

Screenshot of a Arlington Education Association press release that got grammar-checked by a local mom

A tweet correcting the grammar and style of a press release from the Arlington teachers union has gotten some national media attention.

A local homeschooling mom tweeted pictures of the corrections she says she and her children made to a press release sent by the Arlington Education Association, which represents educators and staff in Arlington Public Schools.

The New York Post, Fox News and the Daily Mail have since picked up Ellen Gallery’s edits, and her tweet has gone viral, garnering nearly 2,000 likes and 740 retweets as of Monday morning. AEA President Ingrid Gant has since released a statement taking ownership of the errors and explaining that the release was actually a draft that had not been edited before publication.

Gant sent the initial release after APS announced Wednesday evening that in the new year, amid record levels of reported COVID-19 cases, it would continue in-person instruction and halt sports and activities for up to two weeks. School was set to resume today (Monday) but the snow storm has delayed the start of school until at least Wednesday.

Gant’s letter to Superintendent Francisco Durán, sent early Thursday morning, called on APS to require negative COVID-19 tests of every returning student and staff member, something being done by D.C. public schools. Gant also drew attention to the possibility of increased COVID-19 transmission with lunch indoors, calling for stronger mitigation measures.

But the errors in grammar and style drew more attention than the release’s substance, Gallery told Fox News via Twitter.

“Being able to write a clear, persuasive letter is a fundamental skill all students should master before high school,” she said. “The quality of this writing was so glaringly terrible that it distracts from the writer’s message.”

On Saturday, Gant released a follow-up statement in response to the viral Tweet and the national news coverage.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has persisted far longer than any of us in the Arlington community had anticipated. A draft letter was sent in place of a fully edited one in a rush to address the latest challenge. While I personally take full responsibility for this mistake, errors in my letter should in no way distract from its message: Arlington’s students and educators are returning to school Monday without sufficient testing supplies and with a lunch plan that fails to address the increased risks associated with the Omicron variant. Arlington’s students and educators deserve a safe return to in-person instruction.”

“It is clear that a layered mitigation strategy is the key to safe and effective teaching and learning in our county’s classrooms. As a community, we must focus on acquiring a sufficient supply of tests for every student and staff member prior to our first in-person day in January and on enhancing our meal service mitigations. The children of Arlington deserve no less.”

This week, Smart Restart APS — a group that advocates for improved COVID-19 protocols in schools — is outfitting APS staff with the higher-grade masks reportedly needed to lower the transmission of the highly contagious, but less deadly, Omicron variant. It called on Durán to provide better masks, promote the booster shot and upgrade air filters in school buildings.

Recent Stories

Morning Notes

Weekend Snowfall Total — From the Capital Weather Gang: “Observer at Reagan National Airport reports 2.6 inches, pushing Jan. total to 12.2″ – most since 2016 and more than double…

Wind Advisory in effect today

A brief bout of flurries earlier this morning was the last precipitation to fall as a result of our latest winter storm. Now comes the wind. A Wind Advisory is…

Update at 5:45 p.m. — After a period of heavy snow, the transition to sleet and freezing rain is underway, potentially making travel even more hazardous.  There have been several…

As locals eat their lunch, all eyes are on the skies. Snow — likely heavy snow — is about to start falling in Arlington. County and state crews say they’re…

×

Subscribe to our mailing list