New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza are being called out by teachers for failing to close city schools — after staff reported they had tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to the New York Post, as of Friday five Brooklyn Technical High School teachers had tested positive for the illness, yet the city Department of Education kept the school open. The department said the school had been cleaned.
This action violated a state Department of Education mandate which “requires an initial 24-hour closure” in order to determine the degree of contact infected individuals had with others.
One teacher reportedly was so fed up with secrecy about the matter that “he took it upon himself to personally let all his students know his condition.”
An administrator, referencing Carranza, said “You say equity and excellence, but every other school district closed before you did. You had these kids like petri dishes spreading this to their families.”
The information freeze started March 10, when Carranza, in an email obtained by The Post, told administrators not to alert city health officials about COVID-19 cases among students or staff.
“At the moment, there is no reason for any school to call [the Health Department] to report potential or confirmed cases,” Carranza wrote, repeating the statement later in the same email.
Carranza said DOH would get test results from labs, and school personnel should help “by keeping their phones clear.”
Health department spokesman Patrick Gallahue said Friday the agency “was in agreement with DOE on the directive.”
At several campuses and DOE offices citywide, multiple staffers have tested positive but affected buildings remained open while workers, students and parents were kept in the dark, whistleblowers said. …
“Unfortunately, the DOE suspended keeping track of positive cases,” a teachers’ union official told a staffer on Tuesday.
An unnamed DOE employee said about de Blasio and Carranza: “Blood is on their hands.”
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