The New York City District 8 Community Education Council has written in support of the delay in the reopening of schools in the state.
While disclosing this in a statement released on Friday September 5, 2020, CEC stated that in-person should be delayed until all schools meet the required safety standards that will not endanger lives.
According to the statement, the ethos of these United States of America is so explicitly stated in our Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” the statement reads.
The statement says no American government on any level, and no elected official on any level has the right to imperil lives on American soil for any reason or under any circumstance.
“It is also clear that government decisions require the consent of the governed.
“The rush to reopen NYC public schools and the rush to education normalcy has not obtained the consent of the governed because parents and students were not sufficiently included in the conversations and in the process regarding the reopening,” the statement says.
CEC maintains that surveys are not conversations and they are not consent. They cannot be misconstrued as parents, students and communities giving up their rights to advocate for the lives of their children and their loved ones.
“Our government and its institutions and agencies have been charged by the constitution to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare.
“Establishing justice also means providing health justice; no American and no person living in America should be subject to contracting a preventable disease.
“Ensuring domestic tranquility also means freedom from unnecessary stress created by a rush to reopen in-person schools during a global pandemic without truly ensuring that lives will be protected,” CEC explains in a statement.
It further notes that providing for the common defense means protecting and defending all peoples living on American soil against a pandemic.
It adds that the general welfare should be protected by making sure that unsafe practices that can put entire families and communities at risk in the name of a rush to normalcy are removed.
CEC queries that equity and trust during the pandemic are still a question, not only in terms of fiscal inequity, but also in terms of material disparities and a relationship between the DOE and underserved communities marked by both mistrust and distrust.
The DOE needs to take the time to reassure parents of students in underserved schools that equity during an in-person reopening will be real, palatable, and measurable.
Parents and students need to feel that they can trust the DOE to do what they say they are going to do, and that the DOE really has the best interest of students and their families at heart.
“We need to make sure that remote learning has been enhanced and almost perfected.
“While we wasted a whole lot of time planning for an in-person reopening that probably should not happen this year, we have not spent enough time perfecting remote learning – even though all students will be remotely learning the majority of the time,” CEC states.
There are many students who never received a device or currently have devices that do not work. Because even in the blended choice, children will be learning remotely most of the time, we need to ensure that every child has an internet ready device.
Parents and students need extra computer training. There is not only a gap in access to technology, there is a gap in technological skills.
In order for parents to be able to support the education of their children, they need basic computer skills.
It points out that parents need extra educational support to assist in the education of their children.
It is not just a gap in computer skills, there is a gap in basic literacy skills and basic knowledge in content areas.
Many parents are not able to support the education of their kids because of language barrier, illiteracy, and lack of knowledge in the content area.
Parents and students need building assurances that the school buildings will truly be ready We are hearing issues of not enough deep cleaning supplies, cleaning equipment and PPE gear as part of the larger budget issue and an issue of impending cuts. There are talks of not enough staff and time to clean.
Many parents are not trusting that the buildings will be thoroughly and regularly cleaned, citing past sanitation issues in certain buildings.