#parent | #kids | Mayor De Blasio Defends Fall Reopening Plan, Says Every School Building Will Have A Nurse – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is defending his decision to reopen schools next month, following concerns from principals and teachers who say it’s too soon to be safe.

The mayor says public schools will have nurses on hand when students return to campus this fall.

“Every single New York City public school building will have a certified nurse,” he announced Thursday. “We’re taking every precaution, but there’s tremendous value to having a health professional present.”

De Blasio said NYC Health + Hospitals is working to make that a reality by Sept. 10.

WATCH: Mayor De Blasio Discusses Fall School Reopening 

Upper West Side mother Nina Maclean told CBS2’s John Dias she doesn’t just want to send her two kids back to school, she feels she needs to for their development.

“He’s special needs and he cannot do the remote learning at all. So these past few months for him have been a disaster,” she said. “She can handle the remote learning but needs the socialization.”

But for every parent who’s looking forward to fall, it seems another isn’t or is torn.

“We have very mixed emotions around it,” mother Rachel Levine said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

On Wednesday, the principals union said schools are nowhere near ready to safely reopen in September. The city’s largest teachers union also expressed similar concerns.

“They’re going to rush to reopen. It’s not going to be safe. People are gonna get sick,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew told CBS2. “We haven’t loaded the schools with personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies. We’re doing ventilation checks now.”

Both the mayor and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza have said they’re in daily contact with the unions about reopening.

“I think the most important point is that I really believe our schools are crucial for our kids, there is nothing that replaces in-person learning. Our schools coming back is part of how our whole city comes back,” said de Blasio. “If I don’t think it’s safe, if the chancellor doesn’t think it’s safe, if our health leadership doesn’t think it’s safe, we’ll be the ones to shut it down. That’s why we set the 3% goal.”

The Department of Education sent CBS2 the following statement:

“We engage our union partners every day, and have been discussing policy details for weeks, including the first day of school. The CSA and UFT know we’ll only open our doors if we meet the strictest standards set by any school district in the nation—and that protecting health and safety has always driven our work together. The vast majority of our students are currently planning for blended learning, and we know our dedicated school leaders and educators will show up for them like they have every year.”

CBS2’s political reporter Marcia Kramer asked the mayor what happens if teachers don’t show up for the first day.

“People have a job to do. If they don’t have a medical accommodation, their job is to be there for their kids, and they understand that,” he replied.

He compared educators to health care workers and first responders who “found a way” during the height of the pandemic.

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