A Philadelphia public school teacher is curious about how educators will cope with “conservative parents” listening in on virtual classes, according to a thread captured on Twitter.

According to a report by the Daily Wire, Matthew Kay, who teaches English at the Science Leadership Academy said on the social media platform that he is concerned about the “damage” that “helicopter parents” might cause if they overhear lessons on topics such as gender and sexuality.

“So, this fall, virtual class discussion will have many potential spectators — parents, siblings, etc. — in the same room. We’ll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work?” Kay tweeted. “How much have students depended on the (somewhat) secure barriers of our physical classrooms to encourage vulnerability? How many of us have installed some version of ‘what happens here stays here’ to help this?”

While Kay acknowledged that “damage can come from the left too,” he noted that “conservative parents” are his chief concern when teachers are engaging “in the messy work of destabilizing a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia.”

“While conversations about race are in my wheelhouse, and remain a concern in this no-walls environment — I am most intrigued by the damage that ‘helicopter/snowplow’ parents can do in the host conversations about gender/sexuality,” he tweeted. “And while ‘conservative’ parents are my chief concern — I know that the damage can come from the left too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia — how much do we want their classmates’ parents piling on?”

 

The comments come as schools are determining the best method of instruction for the upcoming school year.

The School District of Philadelphia announced last month that its schools will start the year with all students learning remotely for the first marking period which ends November 17th. Students will then transition to the hybrid learning model, which includes a mix of in-person and digital learning, “as long as guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and other indicators support that it is safe to do so.”

“As we look ahead, we are approaching a school year that will look and feel unlike any other. We know that COVID-19 conditions in Philadelphia and the surrounding area will continue to evolve. That means the guidance we must follow from city, state and federal health authorities will also evolve — sometimes very quickly. This is our new reality. We must all be prepared for it,” the school district superintendent said in a statement. “We have a fundamental responsibility to educate our students continuously throughout the school year, and we are fully committed to doing so safely, thoughtfully, and with equity and facts guiding our decision making.”

 

Earlier this week, a Paulding County, Georgia high school reported several cases of coronavirus after a viral photo circulated on social media of a hallway crammed with students as classes resumed in person last week.