NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A group of public school teachers marched from Grand Army Plaza to Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza’s Brooklyn home Thursday evening to protest the city’s plan to reopen schools.
Videos and photos posted to social media show dozens of teachers and other protesters marching through the streets of Brooklyn, with signs bearing messages including “We Won’t Die for the NYC Dept. of Education” and “I lost a friend and colleague in April. I won’t lose another in September.”
Demonstrators including Brooklyn Councilman Carlos Menchaca spoke out about the dangers of opening schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic at a rally prior to the march.
“I’m hearing that the principals are in support of your message today,” Menchaca said. “So how is it that the Department of Education does not stand with the people?”
Annie Tan, who described herself as a special education teacher in Sunset Park, called on the department to “delay and stop this unsafe school reopening,” a video posted to Twitter shows.
“It is absolutely shameful that the mayor, that the chancellor, the elected officials, they have not heard our concerns,” she said. “They will keep ramming through this unsafe school reopening plan.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised that schools will have PPE and cleaning supplies, as well as other resources needed to keep educators and students safe.
Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, however, said earlier this week that reopening schools on Sept. 10 would be “one of the biggest debacles in history.”