The UFT sent the email below to its public school parent lists Saturday evening. The email will also be distributed to our school communities today and before school on Monday.
To the parents and guardians of our public school students:
Because of his irresponsible decision to keep the public schools open, Mayor Bill de Blasio can no longer assure the health and safety of our students and school communities.
The mayor is recklessly putting the health of our students, their families and school staff in jeopardy by refusing to close public schools. We have a small window of time to contain the coronavirus before it penetrates into our communities and overwhelms our health care system’s capacity to safely care for all the New Yorkers who may become gravely ill.
More than 21,000 U.S. schools, serving over 15 million students, across the country have closed to help check the spread of the virus. New York City museums have closed, Broadway has gone dark and major sports leagues have canceled or postponed their seasons, yet Mayor de Blasio refuses to close public schools.
The city can find ways — even with the schools closed — to keep our children safe, to see that they are fed and to provide other supports for working families.
We UFT members are asking you to come together with us to demand that the mayor protect our city and our children by executing a plan to:
- Close New York City public schools immediately.
- Maintain services for our medically fragile students and other vulnerable children.
- Set up an emergency support plan for all first responders and health care workers to support their childcare and other needs. Provide access to appropriate tests and care.
- Call 311 to demand the mayor close schools now!
The health and safety of our school communities — and indeed the entire city — hangs in the balance.