On Twitter today, Pix11 reporter Dan Mannarino summarized part of his interview with Chancellor Meisha Porter. This tweet Mannarino put out has me concerned, particularly as a parent of two NYC public school students.
Translation: social distancing isn't happening in many schools.
If you are expecting UFT support, a tweet from the Union today may give you some worry about the Union's position as school opens.
It appears the UFT does not know what the world build means. Last year, there was abundant testing, 6 feet of social distancing, and a remote option open to every family. This year it is less COVID testing, more useless diagnostic testing, almost nonexistent social distancing, 2019 class size limits, no mandated COVID-19 vaccines for eligible students (12 and older), and no zero tolerance for students who don't wear masks as there is no remote option to send them to open for all but a few families. The Union and DOE may say all is well but I am not convinced.
We should at least follow sensible protocols like Los Angeles is doing where there is much more COVID testing than NYC, mandated vaccinations including for students at least 12 years old, and a real remote option.
Should we be partying almost like it's 2019? Yes, we have very safe and effective vaccines now (though they are not 100% effective) that most UFTers have taken but kids under 12 are not eligible.
This is how Doctor Leana Wenn put it on twitter from her CNN interview on mandatory masking:
"It is unconscionable that there are states putting kids' lives in danger and forcing them into a herd immunity experiment they didn't sign up for."
She says, and I totally agree, that the federal government needs to tie federal funding to real COVID prevention policies.
Needless to say, I am worried tonight for my wife, my kids, my friends, former colleagues, and all of you going back tomorrow. I hope the folks are right who say Delta can be contained but experience in places like Scotland and the South in the US shows that opening the school doors wide leads to Delta variant outbreaks.
My advice: Please DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, AND THEN DOCUMENT SOME MORE each and every COVID protocol violation you witness. Don't be afraid to reveal who you are. It's all of our safety, including the kids, that is on the line. Schools won't be safe as Dr. Michael Osterholm says, but they can be safer.
-If any insane administrator questions someone, I consulted the UFT Chapter Leader Handbook about self-help. Self-help is when an employee is insubordinate by defying an order from a supervisor. Normally, a teacher should obey an order that violates the Contract and then grieve. However, the Handbook provides three justifications for an employee to be insubordinate. Two of them apply to our current situation:
First, the employee has a reasonable belief that carrying out the order will endanger the employee's health.
Second, carrying out the order will threaten the safety of others.
Document what you see and stay safe.