by Michael Kane
UPDATE: Teachers And Parents Sue NYC DOE Over In-School COVID Testing on 12-14-20:
Read Update HERE
Last night attorney Michael Sussman informed me our complaint claiming violations to privacy rights from mandatory NYC in-school COVID testing will not be filed until next week. Monday or Tuesday are the most likely dates the complaint will be filed.
By information published on the DOE’s own website, teachers have one week from the day they returned to in-school classes to sign the COVID consent form or they will be placed on unpaid leave. For most teachers that day will be Monday.
My advice: if you cannot go on even one day of unpaid leave I completely understand that you will feel you must sign the consent. If you are a part of our lawsuit, and you sign the consent for in-school COVID testing you must inform our attorneys office immediately. I don’t know if that means you will continue to be a litigant on our complaint or not. It doesn’t matter; all that matters is that our attorney is aware to ensure the safety and security of our legal claims in court. Don’t view what I wrote here as any form of pressure – it is not. We all have to eat. There is nothing dishonorable about making sacrifices for your family and for survival.
You can try to place minor statements on your consent that you signed under duress, or out of no other option, or under coercion and threat of losing your paycheck. It may make it passed your supervisor, it may not. They may tell you your consent is at that point invalid and ask you to redo it. That has happened to hundreds of teachers and parents (part of why we now have no choice but to sue).
Although I am a teacher in this battle I am devastated and heartbroken for every parent who simply wants their child back in school. Even with masks on their faces, 6-feet from their peers and with minimal socialization there are many children still dying to go back to school; some sense of normalcy and human interaction. There are also parents desperately trying to pay the rent and keep food on the table who don’t have a babysitter or nanny to watch their child; or TEACH their child as remote learning now demands in many cases.
Brave parents who have joined our lawsuit have already suffered the loss of their child being denied an in-person education. Their children were kicked out of school this week almost immediately. There was no grace period for them. It pains me greatly to say that I have now read tons of documentation proving that the larger national education agenda is to ultimately close as many brick & mortar schools as as possible – especially in the cities, and especially in Black & Brown neighborhoods – and move to a new “reimagined” system of education. Even the heads of the teacher unions have signed off on this direction, although they have done so quietly.
Why would the unions do this?
Here is a small anecdote that may explain.
When the teacher evaluation system was moving away from S & U (satisfactory & unsatisfactory) to a four tier evaluation system, the teachers asked why the union supported this. Their answer was “It has bipartisan support.” From what I’ve learned from the unions, once something has bipartisan support – from both Republicans and Democrats – they view themselves as doomed to that outcome. Reimagine education and the closure of brick & mortar schools has bipartisan support. The unions want a piece of the pie, no matter how small the pie gets. It is sad to watch the teacher unions fighting for the coming crumbs.
I bring all of this up to remind parents and teachers – our fight is way bigger than mandatory in-school COVID testing. It’s way bigger than a coming forced COVID vaccine. It is a fight for the future of our children and our country.
I want to thank everyone who donated to our GO FUND ME page. In 24 hours we were able to raise more money than we needed for this first round of legal actions. We don’t know what the future will hold, or if more funds will be required for whatever we face in that future. Please stay tuned to this website for all updates.