Borough President Vito Fossella, local elected officials call on DOE Chancellor and DOHMH Commissioner to reconsider latest COVID-19 guidance for schools
Borough President Vito J. Fossella and fellow elected officials have sent a letter to Department of Education Chancellor David Banks and Department of Mental Health & Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan requesting that they reconsider the COVID-19 guidance for parents and students as the new school year begins next week. Currently, unvaccinated parents are prohibited from coming into a DOE school building and unvaccinated students are not allowed to play in after-school sports programs.
In the letter, they cite how important parent involvement is needed, especially after almost two years of interrupted school sessions due to the pandemic. It states:
“While well-intentioned and noble, some of the decisions in the past have negatively affected many children. Evidence suggests that cases of mental illness in school-aged children are on the rise and low-test scores are sadly becoming the norm. We urge you to reconsider and reverse the policies regarding unvaccinated parents and children.
Unvaccinated parents have not been in their child’s school for over two years and have missed out on critical moments including meetings, events, award ceremonies, and graduations. NYC DOE student enrollment is down, and parents are showing their opposition to these overreaching policies by removing their children from DOE schools. Furthermore, unvaccinated children who have been welcomed back to school are prohibited from participating in many after school sport programs, which is proven to be instrumental for a well-rounded education.”
They also refer to when New York City lifted restrictions for other activities and locations where large gatherings can take place.
“Months ago, New York City rightly relaxed all of its in-person restrictions for the unvaccinated to attend indoor sporting events, concerts, all entertainment venues, or to simply enjoy indoor dining or going to the gym. As the DOE COVID-19 guidance stands now, unvaccinated parents are not allowed into their child’s NYC DOE school building for back-to-school events, socials, PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, fundraising, parent workshops, or any in-school events with their child.”
The letter was signed by Congressmember Nicole Malliotakis; Senator Andrew Lanza; Councilmembers David Carr and Joseph Borelli; Assemblymembers Michael Reilly and Michael Tannousis.