The city’s Education Department has cut another 850 teachers and classroom assistants — bringing the total to nearly 2,000 school employees who have been fired for failing to comply with a vaccination order that has increasingly been crushed in court.
About 1,300 DOE employees who took a year of unpaid leave — with benefits — have agreed to provide proof of COVID vaccination by September 5 or are considered “voluntarily terminated.”
Of those employees, 450 have received a shot by the deadline and are “returning to their former schools or places of work,” DOE officials told The Post. This includes about 225 teachers and 135 paraprofessionals.
The 850 layoffs account for approximately 1,950 DOE employees laid off since the immunization mandate went into effect on October 29, 2021.
Rachelle Garcia, a Brooklyn elementary school teacher for 15 years and a mother of two, worked fully personally during the pandemic and never got sick, she said.
But she refused to be vaccinated and eventually took leave after the DOE denied her requests for religious exemption.
“I really put my balls on a basket and hoped and prayed that our mayor would turn everything around at the last minute so I could go back to work,” she said.
Mayor Adams never lifted the vaccination mandate, while other cities and states are dropping such requirements due to relaxed CDC guidelines.
“I’m angry, I’m hurt, being thrown aside like I’m nothing. Because I couldn’t properly say goodbye to my students, other teachers told me they kept asking, ‘When is Ms. Garcia coming back?’ That made me cry so much.”
She’s now applying for jobs on Long Island.
In all, NYC has fired more than 2,600 under-vaccinated municipal employees, according to city hall data.
But last week a Manhattan judge ruled that an unvaccinated NYPD officer, one of dozens fired, cannot be fired because the city failed to explain why it denied his request for a religious affiliation waiver.
Additional reporting by Cayla Bamberger
https://nypost.com/2022/09/17/850-more-unvaxxed-nyc-teachers-school-aides-fired/ 850 more unvaccinated NYC teachers, school assistants fired