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After close to 300 schools were closed again in New York on Tuesday, a number of parents staged a protest, pushing back against Governor Andrew Cuomo's renewed restrictions, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Parents stated that their children are in need of in-person classes and that remote learning alternatives are simply not making the grade.
Some frustrated parents said their schools had very few or no coronavirus cases, and noted that they had been following the strict hygiene guidelines and should not be penalized as a result of someone contracting the virus from an off-campus location.
Heather Dailey, whose 8-year-old son has autism and attends P.S. 219 in Queens, said that it was very difficult for him to learn online from their one-room studio apartment, adding that he couldn't get his "federally mandated special-education services at home."
"We’ve already had to mourn the fact our children couldn’t do in-person learning five days a week, and now they can’t at all," she lamented
"I’m angry," said her son Jordan. "I like being in school. My home is very distracting. The cat, the iPad, my mom doing work."
The closures were announced as there had been an uptick in coronavirus cases across nine ZIP codes in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. Cuomo's office released maps showing what the restrictions would be according to a color-coded system. Complaints were made that the maps were not thorough, as they were unclear as to exactly which schools would be shuttered or for how long.
By Wednesday evening, the city released a list of 61 additional public school sites that would be closing on Thursday.
Cuomo said that it would be necessary to close schools and restrict businesses to stop a surge in virus cases. He went on to share with reporters that he would not be deterred by protests.
"The spread is inevitable if we do not control the hot spots," Cuomo said. "There’s always opposition, and we move forward anyway, and we’ll continue to do that."
Mayor Bill de Blasio concurred with the governor's restrictions, saying "The faster we address this challenge, the shorter the shutdown will be."
Schools have been closed in New York City since March 16. They began reopening on September 21.