Following remarks from Republican legislative leaders on allowing the Minnesota Legislature to be given priority consideration for a COVID-19 vaccine, State Representative Heather Edelson (DFL-Edina) and State Senator Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina) released the following statement:
“As legislators and mothers of young children, we understand on a personal level the toll this pandemic has placed on our students, educators, families, and caretakers alike. When state lawmakers are tasked with vaccine implementation, we urge the prioritization of Minnesota schoolteachers and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine so our children can resume classroom learning as soon as possible. While we recognize that frontline health care workers are the number one priority for vaccination, we also recognize that the well-being of our children is at stake.
Governor Walz, a former teacher himself, has done an excellent job navigating in these unprecedented times how to best protect the safety and public health of all who interact in the K-12 system in our state. At the same time, we also know our students’ educational success is paramount to overcome the sacrifices they have made since the onset of the pandemic.
Not all students have equitable access to the school resources they need. Our students are also experiencing a significant lack of socialization and mental health consequences of this pandemic. Our focus should be on our kids and teachers because they are our future.
We also implore the public to help us get our schools back to normal by wearing masks, maintaining social distance, frequent handwashing, staying home when possible, and getting tested for the virus when feeling sick. It’s a small price to pay for the health and well-being of our students and educators.”