Is COVID Testing for Students in NYC Schools Mandatory?

Is it still mandatory for teachers?

10-1-2020

Today Councilman Mark Treyger tweeted a letter to parents from the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) that states COVID testing in schools is not mandatory for students. NYC DOE also sent home the following consent form for parents:

https://www.schools.nyc.gov/docs/default-source/default-document-library/student-covid-19-testing-consent-form—september-27-2020

In the consent it states, “I understand if I revoke my consent or refuse to sign, my child may be required to continue their education via remote learning.”

It is interesting that the DOE states your child “may be required” and not “will be required” to leave the physical school setting.

Confused?

It feels like this confusion is intentional. NYC DOE wants everyone to consent to testing, but it seems they have recognized they are standing on shaky legal ground to require testing to attend in-person school. I foresee a number of very different outcomes for students whose parents don’t consent to COVID testing in the months ahead of us.

One of our steering committee members, Michael Kane, was on the Gary Null Show on September 28th where he voiced our concerns surrounding NYC selling teacher and student DNA to the Biotech company FULGENT GENETICS without our permission or informed consent. The NYCDOE letter to parents is dated the very next day – September 29th.

There are still many questions. The parents who do sign consent forms to allow their children to be tested for COVID – are they giving up the rights to their child’s DNA? Will Fulgent Genetics, the company contracted to do the testing, be cataloging this DNA into their “proprietary reference library of genetic information”?

And what about teachers?

Do teachers have the option to opt-in or opt-out of COVID testing in schools? The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) has told all NYC teachers if we refuse to be tested we will be placed on leave with no pay.

We have been reaching out to multiple City Coucil members about this including Speaker Corey Johnson, Mark Treyger, Barry Grodenchik, Steven Matteo, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams as well as multiple Albany legislators. We have also reached out to the UFT through multiple lines of communication and have heard nothing back. We even know of one mainstream reporter who has reached out for comment from the UFT and has yet to get a response.

The silence is painfully loud.

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