Parents with children enrolled in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District classes recently called for a return to campuses, but the reality is that local administrators are controlled by county and state regulations.

A common emotion expressed among educators behind the scenes throughout the Bay Area is frustration. There’s frustration that the state offered clear guidelines on when to close, but no real path for reopening. There’s frustration that even as the Bay Area region remains under a shutdown due to low intensive care unit (ICU) capacity, some parents continue to demand a return to the classroom, which would go against the health order. And there’s frustration that schools must remain closed even as the mental health of children in isolation worsens.

But something other than the COVID-19 strain has gained traction: a movement to prioritize teachers for the vaccine. From San Francisco to Sonoma, Santa Cruz to Burlingame, teachers, parents, doctors, lawmakers and many more are calling for teachers to receive vaccines early through resolutions and public comments submitted to the California Department of Public Health.

We at The Independent hope to see educators given priority for the next phase of COVID-19 vaccines. As citizens and elected leaders, we must call on the governor to answer this critical request.

The state would then be taking the first step to reopening our schools safely.