“Washington for a Safe Return to Campus” Facebook group censors WSWS writers

On September 22, World Socialist Web Site writer Diana Green was banned from the Facebook group “Washington for a Safe Return to Campus,” which has over 10,000 members. This act of political censorship took place without explanation after Green had attempted to post articles from the World Socialist Web Site. On October 2, Kayla Costa, a writer for the WSWS, was also censored after attempting to share a WSWS page that provided continuous updates on the October 1 global school strike that had taken place the previous day.

A ban was enforced on Green after she had been censored twice without explanation. First, on September 15, her attempt to post the WSWS article “Hundreds of COVID-19 cases reported in first week of school in Washington state” was declined. On September 20, Green’s post of the WSWS perspective entitled “As fall begins in Northern Hemisphere, school reopenings fuel global spread of COVID-19” was removed from the group. Both of these articles provide detailed information that exposes the lie that in-person schooling is safe, while outlining the need for a scientifically based global strategy aimed at eradicating COVID-19.

Significantly, the banning of Green occurred only two days after the publication of the official statement announcing the formation of the Washington Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee on September 20. At the committee’s founding meeting, parents and educators unanimously agreed on the scientific necessity of pursuing an eradication strategy and to fight against the Democrat- and union-backed school reopening campaign in Washington.

Seeking to clarify the science behind the WSWS article’s call for eradicating COVID-19, Green made a principled appeal to the Facebook group administrators, writing, “I’ve recently had one post declined and another removed. I believe that the first one was declined because of political disagreement and therefore censorship and the other was removed because of misinformation. When a country has zero transmissions for a period of time, they have effectively eliminated COVID-19. This has occurred in both New Zealand and Australia. I demand the right to post WSWS material, all of which is scientifically grounded and expresses the interests of the working-class.” No response was given by the administrators.

In response to the unexplained rejection of her post, Kayla Costa also asked the administrators to provide justification, writing, “Hello. I’m reaching out again because another post yesterday was declined. What was false or inappropriate about posting an international day of protest led by a sincere parent in the UK?” No response was provided to this question either.

The Washington Facebook group consistently promotes the Biden administration and the trade unions, even as American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten held an online conference with fascistic elements on September 30. The pseudo-scientists Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. Tracy Høeg, who oppose even the most minimal safety measures, were promoted and given a platform by the AFT. The Biden administration, on the other hand, dropped necessary public health measures within the first three months of his administration, creating the conditions for the ongoing surge of the Delta variant.

This censorship of the WSWS is taking place as “current prevalence exceeds the peak levels observed in the winter surge of 2020,” according to the Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) September 22 report. This is despite the fact that 70.7 percent of Washingtonians have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The number of confirmed cases in the state stands at 592,680 as of October 3, according to the Washington DOH. However, there are 75,154 probable cases, raising the total case number to 667,834. The lack of contact tracing and mass testing has guaranteed that these are significant under-counts. Nationwide, deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic now exceed the total deaths resulting from the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Under these conditions, “Washington for a Safe Return to Campus” administrators are attempting to stifle the left-wing opposition of teachers and parents to the policies of the Democrats and the trade unions, which are committed to defending the interests of the financial oligarchy. All parents, teachers and workers must oppose the censorship of left-wing organizations.

“Washington for a Safe Return to Campus” Facebook group was formed in July 2020, amid the Trump administration’s ruthless campaign to reopen schools. Following Biden’s election and the return to in-person instruction in the winter and spring of 2020, the administrators viewed any criticism of the Democrats’ policy of fully in-person instruction as unacceptable, even as 145 children have died of COVID-19 nationwide since July 1, 2021, including an average of three children every day over the past six weeks.

The increased censorship of the WSWS on the “Washington for a Safe Return to Campus” Facebook group is a response to the growing recognition among teachers, parents, and workers more broadly, that they must be the spearhead of the fight to eradicate COVID-19. This found sharp expression in the October 1 school strike, which the Washington Facebook group administrators sought to suppress.

The censorship of the WSWS is part of an international trend. In May of this year, the “Saginaw unions no holds bar” Facebook group heavily censored WSWS articles exposing the United Auto Workers betrayal of autoworkers. That same month, WSWS education writer Evan Blake was banned from the “Badass Teachers Association” Facebook group for posting articles critical of Randi Weingarten. In December 2020, the UK Educators Rank-and-File Committee issued an open letter to the Facebook group “Boycott Return to Unsafe Schools (BRTUS)” and “Parents United Against Unsafe Schools” protesting censorship of WSWS articles and writers.

The Biden administration, trade unions, the CDC, and the Democratic Party as a whole have all distorted science to force open schools and workplaces. Under these conditions, the WSWS has deepened the fight for fully funded, high-quality, remote instruction as necessary for the eradication of COVID-19. By banning Green and consistently censoring the WSWS, the “Washington for a Safe Return to Campus” administrators aim to prevent more than 10,000 educators from ever seeing a political perspective advocating for these measures.

The WSWS Educators Newsletter urges all educators and other workers to oppose the censorship of the WSWS on the “Washington for a Safe Return to Campus” group, and to call for the readmission of Diana Green into the group. Send statements of opposition to this censorship to educators@wsws.org and share this article with co-workers and on social media.