MANHATTAN, New York — Protesters comprised of teachers, parents, children and officials marched in New York City on Thursday, to protest against the reopening of schools due to what they perceive as unsuitable conditions to protect everyone involved. The protesters marched from Tompkins Square Park to Foley Square, holding placards and banners, while also chanting slogans. Lilah Mejia, a protester, said, “Every aspect of communication with the board of education and parents-teachers, has been a huge gap. We still don’t know. Numbers are increasing.
Last we heard was 55 but we’re still hearing there are more confirmed cases of COVID. So it’s a worry across the board.” “We do know that a lot of our schools the infrastructure is ageing, they don’t have the ventilation systems, some of the windows don’t even open, but you expect children to stay in the classroom all day?” Mejia asked. Actress Cynthia Nixon as also present at the protest, who told journalists, “[We’re] very, very afraid for our kids. We’re very afraid for our families. We’re very afraid for our teachers. We look at every other industry that has opened up, whether it’s talking about outdoor dining, or you’re talking about gyms, or you’re talking about nail salons, or you’re talking about my industry – the film and television industry… There have been such care take and I applaud the governor for that.” “But, with schools it’s just a free-for-all, and we can’t protect our kids, we can’t protect our families, and we certainly can’t reopen our economy if this is a fiasco, which is going to be unless we start investing,” she added.
New York City authorities announced they would delay the start of in-person classes for most students who were set to start on Monday, instead opting for a phased return to school on a rolling basis, with elementary schools now set to open on September 29 and middle and high school on October 1.