Support students, educators, school staff and parents fighting for a remote option!

Support students, educators, school staff and parents fighting for a remote option!

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Tajh Sutton started this petition to Mayor of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and

Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan Parents stand in solidarity with the Bronx Parent Leader Advocacy Group


As of June 2021, more than 60% of New York City students and their families, as well as many educators and school staff, participated either fully or partially in remote learning. With an uncertain start to the Department of Education’s Summer Rising programming this July, questions remain about public school-based mask wearing, social distancing, staffing, and properly prioritized funding in our hardest-hit zip codes. Due to the continued uncertainty that Covid-19 presents to school communities, and the disproportionate impact of the virus on our  vulnerable students, staff and families, we stand with the Bronx Parents Leaders Advocacy Group to amplify the questions and concerns laid out in this open letter.


While families who do not require a remote option seem to take precedence in the Department of Education’s planning, we ask: where is the equity and excellence in removing an option that the majority of NYC parents, largely Black and brown, clearly prefer and even require to ensure their family and community’s safety? 


In addition, many historically marginalized students and communities have found solace in virtual learning due to the lack of bullying students have faced for common in-person behaviors that are often shunned and criminalized. Cultural hairstyles, clothing, use of informal speech or languages other than English, and social and emotional needs that do not fit into the mold of ‘normal’ behavior are often met with over policing rather than care. The absence of this resulted in dramatic improvement in the lives of our students.

 

Parents across New York City stand in solidarity with Bronx parent leaders and educators fighting for a remote option. We also demand transparent communication regarding health guidance in a city that has essentially made all Covid-19 related health mandates optional as new variants of the virus continue to be discovered, and the long term effects of Covid-19 on our city’s youth remain unknown.


What does mandated in person learning with no remote option and lackluster health guidance mean for our immunocompromised families and teachers? For our pregnant and nursing guardians and staff members? For our students with disabilities? For our students in temporary housing and our multilingual families who have continually been the last to receive pertinent Covid-19 and school reopening related information in languages that they can understand? What does this mean for families of  our youngest learners for whom vaccinations are not yet available, and those who have made a commitment to adhering to safety guidelines to protect public health?


These are the questions students, parents, guardians, and school staff have been asking since the school year ended. As we gear up for reopening, our expectation is that our Chancellor, Mayor, Governor, City Council and the NYC Department of Education will lead with compassion and equity at the center of their thinking rather than a desire to be the ‘largest school district to fully reopen’ at all costs. 


The 700,000 remote learners who received no systemic support throughout this pandemic refuse to be this city’s collateral damage. We will not allow our children to be packed into already overcrowded school buildings that are not prepared to adequately meet their needs just so the outgoing Mayor can build his legacy on the backs of our students and their underpaid and overworked educators. 


What’s more, if indeed schools have low spread, it is because the majority of public school parents have prioritized public health by remaining remote, allowing families and schools to be responsible and diligent about maintaining safety protocols, and facilitating communities prioritizing their most vulnerable families in both mitigation and prevention. It is irresponsible and ignorant to remove all those mechanisms that kept everyone safe and expect the same results on the backs of our students.


We DEMAND:


A centralized remote option that prioritizes social emotional learning and culturally responsive curriculum, and allows for student voice, parent empowerment and teacher autonomy. This can be borough or district based to avoid the staffing issues schools experienced last year.


Free universal broadband.


A QUALITY, working, internet connected device, headset and/ or keyboard where age appropriate in the hands of every public school student who needs one. Our suggestion is a keyboard for every middle and high school student since long form writing and essays are difficult to perform on a tablet or phone. This may apply to older elementary students as well and should be considered.


Language justice, translation and interpretation in line with all remote options.


Snail mail in addition to digital correspondence updating families and educators on the status of remote options this fall.


Opportunities to collaborate and make remote learning work for all stakeholders who require it. 

 

When New York City educators,  students and families look back on this time they won’t remember being ‘the largest school system to reopen.’ They will remember whether our city’s leadership prioritized it’s most vulnerable students and staff and created a feasible remote option for the majority of New York City’s public school families.


We hope you will make the right decision in supporting our school communities.


In Solidarity with Public School Families and Staff,


Bronx Parent Leaders Advocacy Group

Black Lives Matter At School NY Steering Committee

Movement of Rank and File Educators - UFT Caucus

Health Justice Working Group- MORE UFT

Community Education Council District 14

Community Education Council 4

Parents for Responsive Equitable Safe Schools- PRESS NYC

Parents Supporting Parents NY

Coalition for Asian American Children and Families

Frack Outta BK 

Showing Up For Racial Justice- SURJ NYC 

Teachers Unite

D14 Revolution

Teens Take Charge

Ya Ya Network

Student Success Network 

Queens Restore Remote Coalition

Las Odiosas BX 

Students Break The Silence

NYC Student Strike

Youth Power Coalition

Education Council Consortium 

Parent Action Committee

Healing Centered Schools Working Group

Alliance for Quality Education

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!