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New York City was set to open public schools on Sept. 10, but in a phone call received by the parents of 1.1 million students today, that date has been delayed to Sept. 21 due to concerns from teachers.
This morning, the United Federation of Teachers announced that they were considering a walk out in light of their health concerns with regard to being in classrooms with students.
Teachers had gathered to protest outside Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza's home, demanding, all close together and non-socially distanced, that they were too afraid to reopen schools.
The additional lag in school openings will enable teachers and staff to further prepare for both in-person and remote learning. De Blasio is calling this a "transitional period," according to NBC News.
UFT President Michael Mulgew stated that "I can say to you now... New York City's public school system has the ... greatest safeguards of any school system in the United States of America."
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Carranza had announced that a blended learning model would be enacted, wherein kids attended school in person two days per week, and spend two days per week doing remote learning. Schools across the boroughs worked hard to come up with feasible plans, with principals and administrators reorganizing the flow of their schools to meet the health needs of students, teachers and staff.
Teachers' strikes are illegal in New York City, and there hasn't been a strike in the city that never sleeps since 1968.
While teachers are concerned about their health and in many cases protesting going back into the classroom, de Blasio has promised that day care programs would be made available so that parents are able to return to work.
Many teachers have participated and advocated for the ongoing protests since the death of George Floyd, which saw crowds of people in the streets of America's cities.