MERIDIAN, Idaho — The parent of a West Ada School District student went viral when she posted a TikTok video over the weekend criticizing teachers for a team-building exercise that the district posted a photo of on Facebook. The parent questioned how seriously teachers are treating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Note: The TikTok video we are referring to and linking to has an explicit word at the end, and therefore KTVB is not embedding the video in this article.
The photo shows a pair of West Ada School District teachers apparently blowing through straws while only inches away from other teachers.
“What is happening? School starts in like four days and our teachers are doing this,” the parent said in the video. “Am I the only one living through a pandemic right now? I just need to know. Can someone tell me? What are we doing?”
Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost every Idahoan should be wearing a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. None of the four teachers in the photo that was posted to Facebook were wearing masks.
A West Ada School District spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
The parent uses the TikTok name “socialistlyawkward” and identifies as an Idaho nurse in their bio. As of Monday afternoon, the video had 2,432 shares, 2,726 comments and more than 37,000 likes.
West Ada has a school board meeting planned for Tuesday to discuss back-to-school safety protocols. The school year is scheduled to begin Thursday and, as of Monday, wearing a mask will be optional.
The comments on West Ada’s Facebook page featured a variety of people both supportive and critical of the teachers’ team-building exercises.
Throughout the month, Gov. Brad Little has urged people to get vaccinated in order to allow schools to conduct the year uninterrupted. Nearly all of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths since Jan. 1 have been among unvaccinated people, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
In recent weeks, as the delta variant spreads rapidly, case numbers and hospitalizations have risen sharply. In Idaho, 47.8% of people 12 and older have been fully vaccinated, while the national figure is 60.2%.
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