Jennifer Goddard’s son, 10-year-old August Huete, has asthma. Because he is not eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, she is afraid to send him to school on Monday without remote access.
“I will not let him go into a crowded school building to take off his mask during the cafeteria lunch. None of that is going to happen to my child, ”Goddard said.
“I want to see my friends, I want to see my teachers. I want to grow up and I want education, but at the same time it is not worth my life, ”said Huete.
Therefore, she and August ended up with other parents and city workers at a rally outside City Hall on Sunday. They urge the mayor to give students and the city workforce a remote and teleworking opportunity, as the delta variant continues to cause an increase in COVID cases here in the city.
“Now we see that children all over the country are getting sick, and now there are even fewer opportunities for us. The virus has changed, the delta is different, ”said Goddard.
School begins on Monday, and unlike last year, students in the city’s public school system will not have the opportunity for distance learning. Students are not given a mandate to be vaccinated. Teachers have until September 27 to get shot. The mayor has also ordered city workers to return to the office full time by Tuesday.
“We can not endanger the lives of urban workers. You can not put profits over people. We have been working remotely successfully for 18 months, ”said Josh Barnett, architect of NYCHA. “Everyone’s safety is paramount. We must continue until the pandemic is over. ”
Some parents who spoke to the convention say they are not considering sending their children to school; However, School Chancellor Meisha Porter recently announced that if a parent deprives their child of an education, the Administration for Child Services or ACS may become involved.
“There’s no greater responsibility for a parent than keeping their children safe,” said parent parent parent NY Tanesha Grant. “Parents, do you want to send your child into a burning building? Than why should we send them into a super-spreader that we see is happening. ”
When they met outside City Hall, they hoped their message was loud and clear.
“Please hear us and offer us what we had last year,” Goddard said.
A spokesman for City Hall said in response to the convention in part: “We know how to make jobs safe and public servants can deliver more to New Yorkers when they work together. Urban workers will have all the resources they need to complete this final step safely. ”