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Let me start this by saying that I'm not trying to pick a fight with anyone. However, I often get confused when I read that certain groups of people believe they need preferential treatment over others.

In case you might have missed it, Louisiana residents age 65 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. However, there's an individual who believes that the group he represents should be allowed to cut in line on the process.

This all began for me when reading a story from the Louisiana Radio Network that stated,

Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Larry Carter said we owe it to teachers to keep them safe.

“One of the greatest things we see in our schools is this fear of either contracting the virus or someone inadvertently transmitting the virus to someone else,” said Carter.

Recognizing that the demand for vaccines far outweighs the supply, Carter said as the state begins to receive an increase in weekly doses, the 166,000 schoolteachers and employees should be given priority.

Carter and State Senator Cleo Fields have written the Governor asking that Louisiana follow the lead of other states and allow teachers to be vaccinated.

“We’re going to continue to apply that kind of pressure to ask and request that we be moved up into the line to really help mitigate any underlying circumstances that would prevent schools from reopening,” said Carter.

While this isn't to discuss the merits of the COVID vaccines, or the fears others might have, I do want to address how the president of any union could essentially say that his group is more important than another.

Would I agree that those who actually care for us such as doctors, nurses, first responders, the real front line workers, should be given preferential treatment when it comes to the vaccine?  Certainly. I think that was a good call.

With the danger level so high, do I think older citizens should be near the front of the line. You bet!  I also believe that if someone suffers from a condition that makes them more susceptible to the devastating effects of COVID, they should also go to the front of the line, regardless of age.

But do I believe that teachers should also go to the front of the line, simply because of their profession? No.  And I'm sure all of my teacher friends will now unfriend me on Facebook because of this. But before you do, please understand where I'm coming from.

Are teachers more important to the daily workings of our state than truck drivers or postal workers? Are they more important than grocery store clerks?  How about the people who work at the pharmacy? Are you saying they are less important?

What about daycare workers?  Do we tell them they are unimportant? How about our military? Where's their preferential treatment? And what about garbage collectors? What if that industry came to a screeching halt?  I hope you see where I'm going here.

I just don't believe that because of anyone's occupation, unless that occupation directly deals with the health and welfare of the rest of us, should be of consideration when it comes to this.

Please, teacher friends, understand, this isn't an attack on you. We all know your job is way more important than radio personality, but in your heart, I'm hoping you can see that a career choice shouldn't have anything to do with the importance of health and welfare.

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