A New York City public school teacher reached out to me with personal experience of not signing the in-school COVID testing consent form. The teacher said I could share this information publicly as it was shared anonymously:
“… I refused to sign the COVID testing consent form. My principal thought she’d be forced to put me on unpaid leave, but then told me to continue coming to work because labor laws prevented the DOE from actually doing that.”
Now, I’ve heard principals say many, many things in my 13+ years working in NYC schools. I have no clue if the principal is speaking from actual facts known to be true, or thought to be true, or rumored, or what. However it is certainly interesting and noteworthy to report.
If anyone can get this information vetted from a New York Employment or Labor Attorney that would be very valuable to all of us at NYTFC.
***Update, 12-21-20: In speaking with one of our attorneys I was told this very well may be true, but it would be the responsibility of the UFT to enforce such a potential violation of labor laws. This lines up with my conversation with the NYCLU, where they informed me the advice they were giving to teachers reaching out to them regarding potential civil & labor rights violations of mandated in-school testing was that their representation was the UFT. A senior teacher with many years of service in the DOE, as well as many years of activism fighting city hall, the DOE and the UFT said that principals need teachers. This is so true, and often forgotten or overlooked. Principals are not excited to have a seasoned teacher replaced by a substitute. Perhaps this principal mentioned above is simply looking out for the best interests of her school and students.