We are receiving many emails from teachers planning to refuse random in-school COVID testing, for varying reasons. Some have already contacted lawyers and have gotten very interesting information including discussions on “reasonable accommodations.”
Below is a letter shared with me by a teacher in New York City. I have spoken with him, but he has asked to remain anonymous for the time being. This teacher is not giving his consent form back to his principal immediately, and wrote the following outstanding letter explaining why he is “delaying” giving the consent form in to his persistent, demanding, even threatening principal.
I’m replying to let you know the reason I have not yet signed the Covid testing consent form.
I’m deeply concerned about the company chosen to conduct the testing, the safety of the test being administered, and the lack of transparency of our mayor, the UFT, and the chancellor on why they’re forcing consent to testing, even though we’ve been asked to be tested multiple times outside of school.
I’ve been tested on my own more than once already and no one has even asked to see the results.
The private company conducting the testing is called Fulgent Genetics. They are a company that stores a large catalogue of DNA. We have not been assured in any of the documentation that our DNA will not be collected, stored, and sold for profit. These questions have been asked to the UFT, the mayor, and many more but remain unanswered.
It’s also troubling to me that we’d be placed on unpaid leave if we refuse testing by a “trained individual”, not the doctor or medical professional of our choice. I also have a (child) in a public school. I would personally prefer to be there at the time of any medical procedure taking place. Especially if it’s not from a doctor.
I have tried to get answers from the UFT, written letters to the mayor, and contacted lawyers to question the legality of “forced consent” to such invasive testing. I have still not received any answers.
Please understand that my decision to wait until the last minute to sign the consent form is not because I don’t believe in testing, not because I don’t care about the safety of the children and staff in our school, and not because I don’t want to be a team player, but because there are great inconsistencies, lack of transparency, and no answers to the questions being asked.
I’m sorry if this has caused you any added stress and grief. If my name is called in the 10%, I’ll reluctantly sign the document and take the test.
Thank you and I hope you have a great weekend!