Lockdown restrictions have forced schools in New York City to close again.
After passing the seven-day average infection rate threshold of 3 percent, the city’s mayor announced that all schools will be closed from Nov. 19.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says he understands parents’ frustrations and said the change is temporary.
“We will bring our schools back. This is the most important point, we will bring our schools back. But we’re going to have to reset the equation.”
But some parents are demanding that schools reopen immediately.
They argue the risk of spreading the virus in schools is low but the harmful effect school closures have on children is high.
Reshma Saujani, a parent and founder of Girls Who Code, said of the NYC public school system, “We risk losing an entire generation to the pandemic, not because they got sick, not because our hospitals were at capacity, but because our leaders and our legislators couldn’t find a way to keep the schools open or give them (students) high speed Internet or a device. And that is outrageous.”
Other parents with children in the public system also voiced their concerns that they may be forced to quit work to tend to their children’s academic needs. This is particularly difficult for single mothers, they said.
“This is unacceptable. Parents all around the New York City, every day, are looking at what they’re going to do with their lives. This has changed our lives forever,” said one of the parents.
Mayor de Blasio said that reopening school might not happen until a week after Thanksgiving, as the city had planned.
He expects the city will be labeled an orange zone, meaning that gyms and indoor dining may also have to close.