As teachers across New York are pushing the state to test all 900,000 students in the state for COVID-19, some students have announced plans to perform class walkouts to draw attention to the health and safety of schooling conditions.
New York Post reports that a flyer circulating on social media, purportedly put out by students in the city, are calling on students in high schools and colleges to walk out of their classes at around noon Tuesday to amplify safety demands, including the ability for schools to test students without parental consent.
"Join your fellow students in a walkout to urge NYC to offer the necessary remote learning options and safety precautions as COVID cases rise!" the flyer reportedly states.
The cause's organizers are asking for teachers to provide all teaching materials online to allow students to perform remote learning, and for the schools to excuse any COVID-19 related absences.
"If we're unable to get schools to shut down, the walkout will give students a platform to discuss alternative goals," the flyer states.
The students are asking for remote learning options, additional testing for both students and staff, and more stringent health screening by Department of Education officials.
"Student absenteeism spiked sharply last week amid a surge in coronavirus cases, dipping all the way to just 44 percent on Friday in the wake of heavy snow," The Post reported. "Attendance hovered around 70 percent for students prior to Friday and schools Chancellor David Banks told The Post in an interview last week that he expected absenteeism to ease in the coming weeks."
New York City currently performs around 80,000 tests on students every week, but it is only able to screen students whose parents have provided them with consent forms. Only a third of the city's parents have consented to the tests.