Just one kid dying from covid that is traceable to a school where
contagion might have come from an unvaxed teacher will cause a firestorm
that makes Greece look like an iceberg.
PETITION FOR SAFE SCHOOLS OR SAFETY WALKOUTS
from Educators of NYC and others including me wrote some clear demands
that the NYC Department of Education should meet before anyone returns
to NYC schools. Schools need to be safe. This evening Daniel turned it
into a change.org petition. --- ICE/UFT Blog.
petition against vaccine mandates: NY Teachers Against Vaccine Mandates for Educators (over 17,000 signatures and rising!)
Dueling petitions inside the UFT. Check the wild west comment section on the ICE blog. The EONYC petition is hitting 700 in less than 24 hours - so if you want to see mandates head on over. a change.org petition.
Arthur Goldstein, NYC Educator and UFT Ex Bd member, makes the case for mandated in an appearance at Bloomberg News -
"It's our duty to keep our students safe.. and to keep ourselves safe ...I do not understand some of my colleagues [who are opposed]. My kids come in from other countries and when they are not vaccinated the nurse comes in and tells them they can't attend school until they are...."
The waffling UFT leadership is leaning toward mandates but fears the much more vocal anti mandate crowd. Full disclosure -- I'm working with the ICE crew and lean toward mandates but my libertarian tendencies keep popping up. But I get that Mulgrew fears taking the lead -- Randi came out for mandates but personally with the AFT most likely to take a position, especially since the NEA just did so. From what I hear, the leadership has been inundated by the organized anti-mandate crowd while the disorganized pro-mandate crowd has had little impact - so far - but seems to be rearing up.
I mean there's this:
Four Broward County Educators Lose Battle With COVID-19 In Less Than 24 Hours...
I bet they weren't vaxed. People are scared, in some ways worse then last year when there were lots of options. Now the option is a crowded classroom.
As I said I'm torn but also pissed at the possibility of non-vaxed spreading sickness. I can afford to stay in hiding. But what about the children in school factor? The unvaxed under 12 and the over 12 students who have not chosen to get vaxed. The report of resistance in the Black community is a real problem for progressives - I have more on this further down.
Just think of a school where most teachers are vaxed but some aren't, as are many parents and almost all students are not vaxed. The vaxed teachers are fairly safe -- maybe not the older ones but still pretty safe. But what kind of environment? Do unvaxed teachers work as freely as vaxed? What about the testing for unvaxed - even if every week, what about between tests and the mingling that goes on?
Just one kid dying from covid that is traceable to a school where contagion might have come from an unvaxed teacher will cause a firestorm that makes Greece look like an iceberg.
Resistance to the vax resisters grows --back to the petition that calls for mandated vax for teachers - a list of demands - sign it here- a change.org petition
1. Mandated vaccinations -
Anyone 12 years of age or older entering a DOE facility, including but
not limited to school buildings, should possess proof of being fully
vaccinated against Covid-19. The unvaccinated must not be allowed
entrance in instructional spaces (unless there is a documented medical
2. Mandated masking -
Everyone within the premises of a DOE facility must have a mask on at
all times, except for eating at proper times. Failure to do so will
result in their immediate removal.
3. Heightened COVID Testing and Tracing Protocols -
Weekly random testing of at least 33% of the entire school communities.
There must be baseline testing for all students and staff in September.
We expect clear, strict and concise procedures in place for quarantine
and closing down schools when there is a COVID outbreak. This includes a
return to a school-wide 14 day quarantine based on a total threshold of
3 or more positive cases within the school community. Baseline testing
for all those returning from quarantine.
4. Strict adherence to social distancing -
There must be strict adherence to at least 3 feet of social distancing
at all times. Distance is subject to increase if authorities deem so.
5. Proper, Science-Based Ventilation in all DOE facilities-
We demand for scientifically proven methods to control and monitor the
spread of airborne diseases, including COVID, that include enhanced
ventilation with outdoor air, and high efficiency filtration. Sites must
be inspected and certified by a board certified industrial hygienist
before anyone is allowed in the facility.
6. A Remote Option - A remote learning option for all parents/guardians that want to opt for one.
7. No Learning Loss Screenings/Diagnostics and Focus on SEL, trauma-informed supports
- There will be no academic screening/diagnostic assessments for
so-called deficit of learning/learning loss. Rather, we must focus
resources on the social-emotional well-being of our students by funding
after school programs, PSAL, counseling, social service and weekend
programs. We desire a pause in required high stakes state standardized
testing until performance based alternatives are explored.
8. Increased transparency, tracking capability and reliability in COVID-19 data reporting -
We demand an updated COVID-19 city wide dashboard that is more
transparent, meaningful and reliable in its data reporting of COVID-19
incident cases, hospitalizations and deaths that tracks over 90 day
intervals and shows vaccination rates.
to implement these demands will result in a coalition of educators and
parents urging UFT members, families and students to stay out of
buildings deemed unfit until they are safe for teaching and learning.
There is a racial component to the anti-vaxers, which has given some progressives pause:
Black man, he was more worried about the prospect of being stopped by
the police than he was about getting Covid-19..." Politico
This is an eye-opening report from Politico, but not surprising. Over the past week a few of us were engaged in a debate on ICEUFT listserve with a black retiree who was an adamant resister. I really get where that resistance is coming from - there is massive mistrust of the medical community by Black people, often well-deserved.
“Why Only 27 Percent of Young Black New Yorkers Are Vaccinated,” by The New York Times’ Joseph Goldstein and Matthew Sedacca:
“A construction site safety manager in Queens said that as a
Black man, he was more worried about the prospect of being stopped by
the police than he was about getting Covid-19. A graduate student in the
Bronx who had not gotten vaccinated said her worst fears seemed
confirmed when a vaccine that the government was directing to Black and
poorer neighborhoods was briefly suspended over a small number of
dangerous blood clots. And a civil rights activist in the Bronx said he
grew suspicious when he heard last year that politicians were
prioritizing minority neighborhoods for coronavirus vaccinations. ‘Since
when does America give anything good to Black people first?’ said the
activist, Hawk Newsome, a 44-year-old Black Lives Matter leader who is
unvaccinated. “All three situations reflect
a trend that has become a major concern to public health experts: Young
Black New Yorkers are especially reluctant to get vaccinated, even as
the Delta variant is rapidly spreading among their ranks. City data
shows that only 27 percent of Black New Yorkers ages 18 to 44 years are
fully vaccinated, compared with 48 percent of Latino residents and 52
percent of white residents in that age group
I had a conversation with a white over 80 retired unvaxed teacher, a Trump supporter, who told me she was not getting vaxed because she didn't trust Fauci, having heard he was financially involved with the vax companies. She already had a fairly mild case of covid this past March. She doesn't seem worried. Am I over-reacting?
With my libertarian tendencies, I don't like mandates and I hate wearing a mask. I also hated to be circumcised without my permission. And it hurt like hell. Still hurts. I balance that with fear of getting sick. And those who don't get vaxed are threats to me and others. I can support their position -- but do I have a right to know? If it was Ebola and not Covid would they claim a right to privacy? I'd like to see a blinking patch in foreheads.
But in fairness, let's look at: NY Teachers For Choice
They seem to be against forced testing. Will they now protest rules for other vax requirements or are they basing their resistance to this vax because it is so new? I can see that point but so far 150 million people make for a pretty good test. Unless in a year or so I might find unexpected outcomes from the vax -- maybe my circumcised foreskin will grow back.
Word is this group has bombarded the UFT leadership and that is a factor in the UFT leadership's waffling over mandating a vaccine. They foresee a massive dues sucking machine.
Their steering committee has a bunch of NYC teachers: