New York City Schools need to shut down – yesterday

[MORE-UFT asks all UFT members, families and students who rely on the DOE to sign and circulate this petition to close NYC Schools – please see below for additional demands to paste in]

With the appearance of the New York City Schools’ first coronavirus case today, and the declaration of a state of emergency and the closure of large public spaces, it has become clear that it is past time to close the school system entirely.

As education workers we know firsthand that families rely on the schools for food, child care and even laundry. We are of course concerned about the effects that this will have on students and their families. However, it is clear that the socially responsible course of action to #FlattenTheCurve on the outbreak. Transmission is clearly already happening in the schools and the sooner it stops the fewer people will die. 

As those who make the schools run, rank and file teachers have the power to shut down the school system if Mayor de Blasio is unwilling to. UFT president Mulgrew could shutter the system on Monday by threatening a sickout. We have the power to do it and we should use it.

MORE-UFT asks all UFT members, families and students who rely on the DOE to sign and circulate this petition to close NYC Schools. We also join others in demanding the following and encourage everyone to copy and paste this statement into the petition comments section when they sign:

As a UFT member/ DOE employee/ parent/ student/ (and/or MORE UFT member) I call on DOE to close all schools. I also demand of the Governor and Mayor:

  • All temporary public shelters should be kept open during the day
  • Food should be made available to those who depend on public school meals
  • Freeze rent and impose a moratorium on evictions (sign a petition here for that demand). Immediately lower the real estate taxes and rents on affected businesses
  • Establish emergency fund to help affected businesses and their workers, regardless of immigration status
  • Streamline emergency unemployment for workers who get laid off due to staying home
  • Ensure patients and those likely to get COVID-19 have the medical checkups  and treatment quickly. Those under quarantine should be taken care of medically and financially
  • Encourage employers to allow all parents/guardians to stay home to care for their children. Provide tax relief to enable small businesses to provide sick days.

Please sign this petition and copy and paste these demands onto your comment when you sign it. (The petition doesn’t have all these demands.)

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