Up until yesterday we have speculated whether the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) will actually place teachers on unpaid leave for refusing in-school COVID testing, and if students will actually be removed if their parents don’t consent. On Friday (yesterday), the NYC DOE published new guidelines on in-school COVID testing which indicate a much higher probability such removals are possible.
Up until yesterday, all claims that teachers would be placed on unpaid leave were coming from the UFT, not the DOE. Now that has changed, and since it is our actual employer who is posting the threat of unpaid leave it needs to be regarded with a higher level of seriousness.
The link you can access this information at is currently only available to those who have a Department of Education log-in – https://infohub.nyced.org/school-year-2020-21/return-to-school-2020/health-and-safety/school-based-testing
Here are some of the hightlighs from their guidlines:
- Students and Staff are not allowed to submit COVID test results from an outside party.
- UFT members who don’t consent to testing within one week of returning to their buildings will be placed on unpaid leave.
- Students whose parents don’t consent to testing will be allowed to stay in school the first day they show up. The next day, their parent will be called to remove them.
- There are medical exemptions available for students as well as disability exemptions available for students with IEPs.
- They claim there are exemptions available for staff, but when you click on their link for more information it does not take you to any further i:nformation.’
UPDATE – 12-6-20: CONSENT FORMS:
Important info on NYC DOE Consent forms for in-school COVID testing:
(1) The student consent form can be downloaded as a pdf from the DOE website, so can the staff consent form
(2) However the STAFF consent form is being encouraged to go through the HEALTH App of questions you have to sign every morning to walk in the building, or a GOOGLE FORM to fill out. If you plan to use the contingency you cannot sign digitally, you must sign the physical consent form with the Attachment 1 contingency we have published.
As we get more information on these guidelines we will update this page.