In an essay appearing in The AtlanticDave Grohl staked his claim that schools should not be forced to reopen in the fall in the face of a global pandemic.

“In Defense Of Our Teachers” comes as the latest installment in Grohl’s continuing online literary presence. During the early days of quarantine, the Foo Fighters frontman launched davestruestories, an Instagram page for autobiographical short stories.

Related: Dave Grohl Says Foo Fighters’ Recording Sessions Were Sabotaged By Ghosts

The passionate and personal essay finds the former Nirvana drummer taking readers through his own journey in the education system. From dropping out of high school halfway through 11th grade to pursue a career in music “(not advised),” to a recurring nightmare that he is back in the classroom preparing to graduate as a 51-year-old man, it’s all there. While Grohl may not have been the ideal pupil, he had the perfect teacher: his mother.

“Though I was never her student, she will forever be my favorite teacher,” he lovingly writes.

Through stories of his mother’s successes and struggles teaching in the public-school system, Grohl paints himself as somebody qualified to speak on the subject of the approaching educational crisis in this country. The essay quickly turns from heartwarming anecdotes of his mother’s former students “bumping into her at the grocery store and erupting into a full recitation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, like a flash mob in the produce aisle,” to the serious issue of what to do come fall in regards to the schooling of millions of children.

When it comes to the daunting—and ever more politicized—question of reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, the worry for our children’s well-being is paramount. Yet teachers are also confronted with a whole new set of dilemmas that most people would not consider. “There’s so much more to be addressed than just opening the doors and sending them back home,” my mother tells me over the phone. Now 82 and retired, she runs down a list of concerns based on her 35 years of experience: “masks and distancing, temperature checks, crowded busing, crowded hallways, sports, air-conditioning systems, lunchrooms, public restrooms, janitorial staff. … When I ask what she would do, my mother replies, “Remote learning for the time being.”

What follows is a nuanced examination of the issues posed by online instruction. Grohl is in the unique position of having the perspective of both a parent whose children are partaking in the classes, as well as that of his mother who, though retired, is still tuned in to the sentiment of the average teacher.

But most important, remote setups overseen by caretakers, with a teacher on the other end doing their best to educate distracted kids who prefer screens used for games, not math, make it perfectly clear that not everyone with a laptop and a dry-erase board is cut out to be a teacher. That specialized skill is the X factor. I know this because I have three children of my own, and my remote classroom was more Welcome Back, Kotter than Dead Poets Society. Like I tell my children, “You don’t really want daddy helping, unless you want to get an F!”

Grohl also takes aim at the current administration, and what he sees as their uninformed approach to the problem.

America’s teachers are caught in a trap, set by indecisive and conflicting sectors of failed leadership that have never been in their position and can’t possibly relate to the unique challenges they face. I wouldn’t trust the U.S. secretary of percussion to tell me how to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” if they had never sat behind a drum set, so why should any teacher trust Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to tell them how to teach, without her ever having sat at the head of a class? (Maybe she should switch to the drums.)

Finally, he closes with an emotional and simple plea: “Teachers want to teach, not die, and we should support and protect them like the national treasures that they are.”

“May we show these tireless altruists a little altruism in return. I would for my favorite teacher. Wouldn’t you?”

Read “In Defense Of Our Teachers” here, or listen to Grohl read the essay himself below.

Dave Grohl — “In Defense Of Our Teachers”

[Video: Foo Fighters]