Letters to the Editor

A Disregard for Health of Staff

Dear Editor,

The Revere Teachers Association (RTA) holds as its primary objective to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of its members.  Every day, but especially during a pandemic, schools must foster a culture of care and compassion for staff and students.

As Revere Public Schools move into the phase of hybrid in-person learning, a small number of our members, less than 100, sought to follow the recommendations of their doctor and request or extend their work from home ADA (Americans with Disability Act) accommodation, in some cases for only a few weeks until they were fully vaccinated.  Rather than consider implementing minor schedule changes, in far more cases than not, these requests were denied.  Faced with no other option, teachers requested to use their earned sick time to take short term leaves of absence until fully vaccinated.  That too was denied.  Educators were given the choice to return to in person teaching against the advice of their doctor or take an unpaid leave of absence.

RTA requested that members, many of whom reported feeling pressured and even allegedly bullied at ADA meetings in the summer, have the option to bring a colleague or representative to ADA meetings with Central Administration.  This request was denied.  Furthermore, the administration denies that far too many members in general feel bullied and intimidated.  Rather than face retaliation, teachers accept accommodations that are offered and risk their own personal health.

RTA is simply requesting protection for our most vulnerable members.  We want to do our job and teach our students.  But we do not believe anyone should have to choose between their health and their paycheck.   A school system is strongest when it prioritizes safety and compassion for staff and students.  Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions.  

Revere Teachers Association

My Case for Richard Fucillo For Representative 

Dear Editor,

Richard Fucillo, Jr. is so Massachusetts, I never needed to ask where he’s from when I first met him four years ago. His love for the Bruins, Tom Brady and Dunkin Donuts coupled with his particularly thick New England accent cemented him in my mind, as one of the first true Bay Staters that I met when I first moved here. Clam chowder runs through his veins, and he swears the best pizza in the world is made in Revere. 

I realized how much Richard loves this state when he told me that his life long dream is to buy a house in his native Winthrop, and live there for the rest of his life. That’s why when he told me of his intention to run for State Representative that I was not at all surprised. He is not running to launch a long political career, but because it’s his home, and he wants to help improve it. I can truly say that Richard is one of the most generous and passionate people I have ever met. These qualities became apparent to me after after taking a few road trips with Richard throughout Massachusetts. Rich would have a personal story about every town and Massachusetts landmark that we’d see, be it Plymouth Rock, or Kelly’s Roast Beef. He is not interested in national politics and scandals, he wants to help make positive change locally, which is why he is running as an independent. He doesn’t have a party line to toe or a corporate structure to answer to in Washington. His only ideology is to make his home a better place, and help his neighbors in their pursuit of happiness. He doesn’t have to pretend to align with policies which history shows he does not truly believe, in order to curry favor with members of a particular party, which he thinks has the best chance of placing him in office. His policy proposals are based on his personal experiences as a lifelong resident of Suffolk’s 19th district, and his platforms’ only consideration is the direct benefit it will provide for his community. 

Richard has made less trips around the sun than the other candidates in this race, but his relative youth is a source of energy, and optimism. It’s what makes him a fast learner, easily adaptable, and places him in a unique position to understand the issues which face his community in the 21st century. In this difficult time period of an already divided nation, let’s unite our homes through moderation and bipartisan dialogue. Do not vote for a color and a letter, vote for your future. 

Makar Kirikov 

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