Under the pretext of the raging COVID-19 caseloads in New York City, several teachers union factions in the Big Apple are staging protests, demanding that the city take back schools to remote learning.
After the Monday number that saw 12,000 new teachers and student cases of the coronavirus, progressive and left-leaning elements within the United Federation of Teachers on Wednesday amplified their calls to temporarily shutter schools and go back to remote learning in order to save lives.
Roughly 50 school staffers and others gathered at the Barclays Center Wednesday to call for a temporary shuttering after newly-appointed Mayor Eric Adams stayed strong on his decision to keep schools open.
As it stands, City teachers saw steep absentee rates in the first few days of the new semester this week, with union sources estimating that 25 percent of educators have not shown up to school this week. Student absentee rates have also risen sharply, with one in three kids failing to appear in class on Monday.
Meanwhile, Adams has argued that kids are safest in school and that remote learning inflicts the heaviest damage on low-income kids who rely on their schools for more than just instruction.
As far as numbers are concerned, Adams’ stance on kids being the safest in school buildings has quite the logic to it. Even if they are infected, COVID-19 poses little risk to school-age children. They account for a vanishingly small percentage of US COVID-19 deaths. In the two years of the pandemic, just 708 kids between 5 and 17 have died out of 825,000 total COVID-19 deaths. The COVID-19 toll was comparable to the flu which killed 572 children ages 5-17 in 2017-2018 and 2018-19, the last two flu seasons prior to the pandemic.