Gerry Brooks’ Hilarious Mock Call to Betsy Addresses Serious Concerns About Reopenings

Gerry Brooks' Hilarious Mock Call to Betsy Addresses Serious Concerns About Reopenings

Principal Gerry Brooks addressed the concerns of many teachers in a hilarious way with a mock call to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The video included Brooks’s signature humor, but his points are serious and questions valid. Here’s how his side of the pretend call went.

Principal’s mock call to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos:

“Hello? Is this Betsy? Oh, my gosh, I’ve been trying to get a hold of you forever! Thank you so much for taking my call. I know you’re really busy doing all of your educational secretary stuff – you’re playing Bunko with your friends? Okay, I won’t take much of your time, I promise. Just a little bit of your time. 

Now I believe you should go to the source when you’re having a concern – like if you’re a parent you should go to the teacher, not the principal. I’m just going to come directly to you with my concerns because you are pushing everyone to go back to school fulltime in the midst of all the Corona stuff. So I’m just going to come to you and ask for your expertise because you’re the Secretary of Education, so I know you have some real expertise. 

My first thing is the social distancing. Now, they’re asking us to keep our kids six feet apart. Some people are even saying three feet apart, but that’s still difficult. So as an expert, when you were teaching in the classroom and you had 25 kids how would you suggest we – you what? You were never in a classroom? So wait – you weren’t a teacher? Really?! Well, how about this: when you visit classrooms. As the Secretary of Education, I’m sure you visit a lot of schools. When you’re in those classrooms and you see (pause). You don’t visit schools? Really?! Okay, how about this. You have your own children and they went to school. They’re talking about social distancing on the busses, so when your children road the school bus (pause). Your children never rode the school bus

Okay, let’s just forget all of that stuff. Let’s talk about some other things. Okay, we’re going to need some funding. So have you been thinking about the funding? We need some extra funds. We’re going to have a lot of hand sanitizer. We need some different equipment, some masks, some thermometers, some extra people to help us monitor the students, and we’re going to need nurses in the buildings. 

I’m wondering if you’ve come up with a way for us to get this funding? Oh, you have? Great! What are you thinking? Boxtops and cake sales? Honey, how much money do you think that’s going to bring in? Okay, that’s not even a good idea. 

One last thing, so when a teacher gets sick and they think they might have corona, they’re going to have to take a test, then they’ve gotta be out for three days. We’re already hurting for substitutes, so I’m wondering if you’ve thought about what we’re going to do when the teachers have to get tested or even worse they have to be out for two weeks when we’re already short of substitutes? Have you come up with some sort of plan to get our classes covered?

You have? I’m so glad to hear that! So what is it you’re thinking? Just combine classes? Okay, so now you want us to put 50 kids in a class to combine them? I don’t think that’s going to work. The food service ladies can cover the classes?  Well, those are great ladies, but I don’t think they’re ready to do that. 

What? You gotta go back to Bunko? How are we going to decide on this? We’ve got like three weeks for this. You don’t know that either? 

Well, I hope you lose at Bunko.” 

While the video was satire, Gerry touched on the main concerns of many teachers. How will social distancing be enforced in schools and on busses? Is there funding for necessary hygiene and sanitation supplies? What about funding for extra staff to monitor social distancing and medical needs? When education budget cuts have already been announced, where is the funding coming from to reopen schools safely? And how will we be certain substitutes will be available to cover for sick teachers?

No, DeVos hasn’t actually suggested schools fund reopening with Boxtops and bake sales, or that cafeteria workers step in for teachers. However, she hasn’t answered the questions most teachers are wondering either. Betsy DeVos did interviews this week and made it clear she wants schools back in session, on time, and in-person fulltime. DeVos said, “it is not acceptable for schools not to reopen.” Teachers deserve to have their questions about health and safety answered by the Education Secretary if they are expected to return to the classroom. 

This video from Gerry Brooks, which is titled “Finally got a call through to Betsy! So excited” went viral. Hundreds of teachers voiced their worries in the comment section. Most teachers do not feel heard or valued by the Education Secretary. It’s bad enough to feel your concerns aren’t being heard under normal circumstances, but it could really be a matter of life and death during a pandemic. 

Watch this other principal calling out Betsy and defending teachers:


Gerry Brooks' Hilarious Mock Call to Betsy Addresses Serious Concerns About Reopenings

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Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed., an editor at Bored Teachers, is a mom, educator, writer, and advocate for self-confidence. She's been a teacher in classrooms of infants through adult college students. She loves pizza, Netflix and yoga. Connect with her at rachael.m@boredteachers.com
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