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Staff Refuse To Enter Unsafe School Building

Above photo: Twitter.

NOTE: CBS News reports:

Yellow water. Dead roaches. Dusty desks.

That’s how teachers at a Crown Heights school for children with special needs were welcomed back Tuesday.

“It just looked dirty, like we left it in March,” special ed teacher Mark John said. “Your anxiety goes up.”

So after finding bathrooms lacked soap and promised PPE was not available, teachers worked outside. However, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza claimed only a handful of schools were affected.

“In some cases the landlord did not accept those deliveries. But this is why we have more time,” Carranza said.

He said there’s plenty of PPE and the situation is being corrected immediately.

But teachers also claimed the Department of Education did not arrange a ventilation inspection at the state-run facility, a process Mayor Bill de Blasio boasted about Wednesday when he shared a video that shows how issues have been fixed at four of the 10 schools that failed.

“This district should have been ready two weeks ago!” said Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers. “We tried to have a meeting in this school and site in August.”

Some teachers in different parts Queens told Rozner their schools also had issues.

A Cambria Heights teacher called the situation a “(expletive) show,” adding there was “no toilet paper, no hand sanitizer dispenser, and one window doesn’t open.”

Another in Forest Hills said, “They aren’t actually checking temperatures physically … pretty risky.”

“Once the students come in all this stuff has to click into place,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.

He claimed wall-mounted thermometers were ordered, but there was no protocol from city hall.

A DOE spokesperson said in addition to at-home daily health screenings, schools will have random temperature checks.

But teachers are asking why that isn’t in place now, and why should they be the guinea pigs for safety.

Bronx, NY – The special education staff of P352X, composed of five different sites (buildings), will be coordinating a refusal to enter unsafe buildings. We have not received inspection reports from the UFT or the DOE for all five sites. When staff arrived on the first day, the promised PPE was not available and due to no fault of our administration, we still did not have enough information to have a plan for the first day back. Guidances from the department of education change and are updated daily. We work with the most vulnerable students who require toileting, constant physical care, prompting throughout the school day. For example, we must hold hands to guide for walking, wipe noses, etc. We have come to the conclusion that the buildings are not safe and ready for entry by the staff and certainly not for the students in the next week and a half. 

We are coordinating our communication to our administration that we cannot enter the building until we have confidence that the department of education has 1) provided the ventilation reports and analysis promised for all five sites, 2) adequate PPE to work in the buildings and with our students for when they arrive, 3) air quality monitors, and 4) ensured that the protocol to enter the building safely is in place and accessible. Until then, we cannot be made to take risks to our lives that could then endanger our families and our students. 

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