NEW YORK CITY — The New York City Department of Education fired 850 teachers and classroom aides for their refusal to show proof of COVID vaccination. The second wave of job terminations brings the new total of fired teachers to almost 2,000 since former mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate went into effect in October 2021, the New York Post reported on Friday.
“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lotta work on it. ... But the pandemic is over,” Biden said.
“CAST ASIDE LIKE I WAS NOTHING”
One of the fired teachers shared her story with the Post. Brooklyn elementary school teacher Rachell Garcia told the paper she was denied a religious exemption request. Despite working in-person during COVID and never getting sick, Garcia still got canned.
“I’m angry, I’m hurt, to be cast aside like I was nothing,” she said. “Because I couldn’t give a proper goodbye to my students, other teachers told me they kept asking, ‘When is Ms. Garcia coming back?’ That made me cry so much.”
Garcia is a mother of two and spent fifteen years teaching in Brooklyn.
Political pundit Lou Dobbs tweeted: “RNC should be recruiting all of those fired teachers to hire for our kids in school districts everywhere! Independent thinkers, smart, principled and steadfast—get them in GOP now and let’s help our kids!”
One response that garnered over 850 likes and retweets read: “It’s not the vaccine. It’s identifying teachers that might think for themselves, that might question government and union demands on indoctrination of children vs educating them. Cannot have that.”
COMING TO FLORIDA?
Over the past two years, the Sunshine State has taken in many Americans relocating from blue states with strict COVID policies. The DeSantis administration’s commitment to protecting the jobs of unvaccinated Floridians is one of several key motivations for the recent migration.
“You shouldn't have to choose between getting the jab or losing your job. In Florida, you don't,” Bryan Griffin, the governor’s press secretary, tweeted in response to the news of the firings.
DeSantis’ support for law enforcement has attracted officers from blue states, such as New York, where “backing the blue” is politically incorrect. In October 2021, Fox News reported that a dozen former New York Police Department officers left the Empire State for greener pastures in Florida. Additionally, Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy Raymond Arce left his post in Chicago earlier this year, citing a lack of support for law enforcement.
Just as Florida welcomed the under appreciated officers, the state’s current teacher shortage presents a mutually beneficial opportunity for New York City’s now former educators.
Manny Diaz, Florida’s education commissioner, tweeted: “Come on down to the free state of Florida! We are proud to offer reciprocity to New York teachers.”