by Michael Kane
ACTION ALERT! NYC & UFT are trying to stop the new state guidance that would prevent them from kicking kids out of in-person school.
TAKE ACTION HERE
Today the New York State Education Department (NYSED) stated clearly children cannot be denied access to in-person schooling or extra curricular activities for refusing to be COVID tested. Read the statement at the following link:
This means the case AVILES vs DE BLASIO which was challenging mandatory in-school COVID testing as illegal, immoral and unscientific, may be moot, and 12,000 NYC students who have been kicked out of school should be accepted back. TEACHERS FOR CHOICE has been following AVILES vs DE BLASIO closely. Read about that case at the following links:
This sudden, unexpected shift in guidance essentially comes from the embattled Governor Cuomo administration, who has effectively abandoned Mayor Bill De Blasio (and the UFT) who have been forcing COVID testing on students as young as 6-years-old to attend school. NYC stands almost completely alone as the only school district I am aware of that will not accept COVID test results from outside doctors. Even in Los Angeles – where the school system remains fully remote – outside test results are said to be acceptable upon their reopening.
WHAT ABOUT TEACHERS?
While AVILES vs DE BLASIO does not deal with forced COVID testing of teachers, nor does the recent guidance from NYSED, this sets a very significant precedent for teachers who wish to opt-out of forced in-school COVID testing.
I just spoke to a Brooklyn teacher today who was, in fact, placed on unpaid leave after refusing in-school COVID testing on multiple occasions. This teacher was off of payroll for 2 days before begrudgingly signing the consent to in-school COVID testing.
The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) has done a horrible disservice to its membership by agreeing to placing teachers on unpaid leave if they choose to opt-out of in-school COVID testing, as it appears they may be falling on the wrong side of the law.
***UPDATE*** – UFT DIGS IN DEEPER stating that this new guidance from NYSED referenced above contradicts the NYC school reopening plan approved by the state. They are sticking with forced mandated testing of teachers and students. A battle is brewin’.