Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick joined "The Ingraham Angle" Wednesday to respond to the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers advising members on ways they can avoid going back to classrooms should in-person learning resume this fall.
"They're essential workers, Laura, and most teachers I know, they want to be comfortable when they go back," Patrick told host Laura Ingraham. "They want to feel like they're safe. And schools and our guidelines will provide the safe environment. But most teachers I know want to go back to work.
"Most parents want their kids to go back to the classroom and there'll be some options ... [like] online learning, where it's necessary. But we need to get all of our teachers and all of our students into the classroom. You know, Laura, we really have no choice in this in America."
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION VOWS TO WORK 'HAND IN HAND' WITH LOCAL GOVERNORS TO REOPEN SCHOOLS
Patrick said the coronavirus pandemic and the switch to online learning for the final few months of the 2019-2020 academic year has caused a concerning number of students to fall through the cracks.
"The American Pediatric Association said today, because of the way we ended the school year, virtually, we have 10 to 20 percent of our students in America that are missing," Patrick said. "They disappeared from the system. And we know because we're able to track them on their online work and it's decreased and in some cases, they've just gone away.
"And the gap between those who are leading their class and those who have a lot of work to make up ... virtual learning, while important in certain areas, is killing those students who most need the help."
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The Texas official added that some children need to see teachers for their own health.
"My wife was a longtime teacher, and one of her duties was, if she saw something [where] maybe a child was being abused, to look out for that child to report it," Patrick said. "And all teachers are on the first line of defense for children. We have children being abused in this country right now and they're not being seen."