By Gregg McQueen
A coalition of teachers, health care professionals, parents and students have launched a petition asking Mayor Bill de Blasio to rethink the city’s plan to reopen public schools in September.
Led by the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE), the petition states that the city’s schools, plagued by underfunding, do not have the resources to open buildings safely during the pandemic.
It calls for the de Blasio administration to keep school buildings closed until New York City has experienced no new coronavirus cases for 14 days, and schools are given additional funding and a sufficient contact tracing and testing plan.
The petition had garnered nearly 4,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.
“Our sinks are still broken, our class sizes are too large, our rooms are still poorly ventilated, we still don’t have full-time counselors and nurses in every building and we have seen no evidence that contact tracing and testing for school communities will be adequate,” the petition reads. “Forcing school buildings to reopen before we have the resources we need will put staff in the untenable position of having to enforce public health directives without resources or an expectation of them actually working, and could further put our Black and Brown students at risk of being criminalized and/or traumatized by schools.”