by Michael Kane
Yesterday NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza sent an email to NYC DOE educators about in-school COVID testing. He reaffirmed that it is mandatory to sign the consent form for testing and that if you haven’t signed already you must do so “as soon as possible” or you risk being placed on unpaid leave.
So there is only one thing we can know for sure from this email: there are still many NYC educators who have not signed the consent.
The second time NYC Schools made a campaign like this I thought they were ready to really place teachers on unpaid leave. It was a big concern for me at that time as we had still not gotten a legal, enforceable assurance that our specimens when collected were protected from any other use other than COVID testing. We sued the NYC DOE over this and received a court-ordered stipulation that our specimens will not be used for anything other than COVID testing and will be destroyed after the fact.
After we got this stipulation there were many educators who still did not sign the consent, as this email we just received inadvertently makes clear. We received reports from teachers whose principals told them to keep coming to their job even though they did not sign the consent form. Remember, for the first time in NYC history the principals’ union – CSA – cast a unanimous vote of “No Confidence” in Mayor De Blasio and Richard Carranza’s leadership of NYC DOE.
That’s never happened before.
The NY POST recently reported that teacher retirements are at an all time high in NYC which is no surprise given the COVID crisis. The city is short on teachers. No principal loves having their school loaded with substitute teachers; people forget just how valuable an experienced teacher is to administration! We have principals and administrators that follow our website, and that are on our mailing list. Some have sent me emails thanking me for what NY TEACHERS FOR CHOICE is doing and remember, Mayor De Blasio’s term is nearing its end.
So now here we are. The third time. The third threat of unpaid leave if you don’t sign the in-school COVID consent form. Will they really, finally, pull the trigger this time?
I don’t think so, but I don’t know.