Student Voice is Heard

Student Protest Voices Concern Over Covid Policy & Remote Learning Option

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated, on Monday, that it would take six months to create a good virtual schooling option and that he was opposed to closing schools. However, the new Chancellor of the NYC DOE, David Banks, was saying something completely different after students from over 29 schools protested Covid safety policies and walked out of their classes.

ChalkBeat New York reporter Alex Zimmerman  pointed to the low attendance and high Covid rates we’ve seen in schools since returning from Winter Break. “Daily attendance has not exceeded 76%, meaning roughly a quarter-million students are not receiving instruction on any given day,” Zimmerman said in the January 13th articleNYC might create a remote option this school year, Chancellor David Banks tells parents.”

It isn’t just students who are missing school and therefore instruction, educators are testing positive and it’s becoming hard to find substitutes.

“My goal is to create an option that will take us at the very least to the end of the school year. If I could figure out a way to do a remote option starting tomorrow I would,” Banks said at a virtual meeting of the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council. 

The student protest, held Tuesday, saw students from schools across the city walking out of classes and school buildings. Brooklyn Technical High School senior Dora Chan was one of the organizers. Even though the mayor and chancellor have said they want to hear from students, Ms. Chan believes they already made their voices heard when they walked out. 

Protesting often comes with consequences. Students who walked out were hit with detention, which seemed an unusual punishment considering the issues they are raising have to do with being inside the school buildings. By the end of the day on Thursday, that walk out brought about results. According to the New York Times, the mayor said his administration is “considering a “temporary” remote learning option for the significant number of students who are already staying home during the pandemic.”

We want to hear from you. Do you think there should be a remote school option? Would you attend remote school if it were offered? Please post your opinion in the form and keep an eye out for more information on this rapidly changing story.