Some New York City teachers are calling for “mass sickout” mutiny in defiance of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s refusal to close public schools to stem the coronavirus outbreak.
With Twitter postings and emails urging a revolt, worried teachers are consulting colleagues about taking the drastic action to protect themselves and their families.
“We’ve talked about it,” one educator told The Post, adding that his union chapter is holding a meeting on Monday to vote to join the sickout. “Other teachers I know have said they will call out.
MORE-UFT, a faction of the teacher’s union, blasted de Blasio for ignoring warnings that keeping schools open puts students and staff at risk.
“Because of this irresponsibility, teachers will need to take action to protect the health of our students and their families by calling in sick on Monday,” said a bulletin sent to members Saturday.
Teachers’ union president Michael Mulgrew, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and City Comptroller Scott Stringer have called on the Department of Education to shutter schools, but continue to distribute meals to needy youngsters and provide online academics.
Already, amid mounting demands that the city close schools to stem the spread of infection, a growing number of teachers are staying away.
On average, as least 3, 728 teachers a day, or 3.9 percent of the system’s , 06 teachers, shunned school last week, the city Department of Education said Friday.
A DOE spokeswomen could not give the teacher absenteeism rate for Friday – when student attendance plummeted to 68%, down from 100% on Monday.
However, the number is likely to skyrocket because teachers can enter absences into the attendance system days after they are out.
On Saturday, Mayor de Blasio stuck to his guns about keeping schools open.
Closure would cause “a cascading effect,” negatively impacting the subways and hospitals because transit and health-care workers would stay home with their kids, de Blasio said.
He also noted that hundreds of thousands of teenagers would be left unsupervised, and could be unsafe or get in trouble on the street.
The sickout has already affected kids. One student at East Side Middle School in Manhattan said 68 teachers were absent Friday, including math and science instructors.
With the humanities teacher out, students got a work sheet and watched another movie.
“And people just hung out. It wasn’t anything rigorous or academic, ”the teen said.
Sources told The Post that several teachers at PS 107 in Park Slope – where a parent tested positive for coronavirus – did not come to work Friday and student attendance plunged.
Each NYC teacher gets paid sick days where a doctor’s note isn ‘t necessary.
Some parents are angry that schools remain open. The father of a Brooklyn Technical High School student said his son’s friend attended school all week – before learning his dad had tested positive for the coronavirus-caused COVID – .
After notifying the school Thursday, administrators simply told him to self-quarantine for two weeks.
“It’s crazy, because they’re on top of each other here,” the dad said, referring to the school’s 5, 900 students and several hundred staffers.
“Schools should be disinfected by the Center for Disease Control, not just cleaned by school custodians.”
– Staten Island parent
Meanwhile, the DOE confirmed that a student who attends IS 89 in Staten Island has tested positive for COVID – 68.
“The student was not in school while symptomatic,” said spokeswoman Miranda Barbot.
The building is being “deep-cleaned,” she said. “We expect it to be open on Monday, pending Health Department confirmation.”
Other schools where staff or students have tested positive include New Dorp HS and the Hungerford School in Staten Island, Brooklyn College Academy, and the Brooklyn Occupational Centers. All are set to reopen Monday after a cleaning, Barbot said.
“Schools should be disinfected by the Center for Disease Control, not just cleaned by school custodians,” one Staten Island parent fumed.
“Parents are outraged. You would have thought people would be there in hazmat suits, but no, ”he said.
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