Students drop out of classes in New York due to COVID-19 protections
Hundreds of New York City students held walkouts on Tuesday to protest what they said was a lack of COVID-19 safety protocols in city schools.
Brooklyn Technical High School, a magnetic public school with a few thousand students, has seen a big walkout, with about 200 students leaving school Tuesday to demand distance or hybrid learning amid concerns about the rise in cases caused by the omicron variant, according to ABC 7.
A student at the school, Jaida Sahin, told ABC 7 that she thinks that “having all these kids stacked on top of each other, especially in schools as large as Brooklyn Tech, is not ideal.”
“I think just having this hybrid option would just ease the stress and make everything a little bit safer for everyone,” she said.
A major walkout was also reported at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, where students have called for similar pandemic protocols. Three students at this school, who were unhappy with the lack of virtual options, had coordinated walkouts on social media and buckled down at other schools like Brooklyn Tech, amNY reported.
In one Tweeter New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks said on Tuesday he would meet with students to discuss strategies to navigate the latest wave of the pandemic.
“We understand the concerns of our school communities during this crisis,” he wrote. “The best decisions are made when everyone is seated at the table – I invite student leaders to meet with me so we can work together for safe and open schools. “
The protests are the latest development in a clash over how schools should operate during the pandemic, with some arguing for hybrid and remote options to keep people safe and others claiming that depriving students of learning by no one is hindering their education.
The Chicago Teacher’s Union ended a multi-day strike on Tuesday after reaching an agreement with city and school district officials on pandemic safety protocols. And in Oakland, Calif., More than 900 students have signed a petition saying they will step out and not attend class if their demands for COVID-19 safety protocols are not met, according to The Washington Post.
New York City has reported more than 32,000 cases of COVID-19 every day for the seven-day average of last week and 657 daily average hospitalizations, according to city data.