What will happen to 12,000 students whose parents won’t sign the in-school COVID consent form?
by Michael Kane
NYC Parents who did not sign the in-school COVID testing consent form had their children forced into remote learning for the 2020-21 school year. Some of those parents chose to sue the NYC DOE in the case AVILES vs DE BLASIO, claiming remote learning was inferior to in-person learning, and thus their children were being denied their right to an education. The lead petitioner on the case is Adriana Aviles, who is currently running for City Council in Queens, District 19.
On March 2, 2021, the court ruled against these parents stating that, “remote learning is offered to those students whose parents refuse to consent to random testing” and claiming this was an adequate substitute for in-person learning.
The lawsuit was appealed seeking an immediate injunction and was argued in court on May 11, 2021. The format of that hearing was each side was given 5 minutes to present their argument to the judges after having submitted written arguments to the court. Ray Flores argued for 5 minutes on behalf of the parents. When he was 2 minutes into his argument one of the judges asked him to clarify what testing he was talking about. The indication from the question was that the judges had not read the written argument given to the court or, at the very least, had not thoroughly read the written argument since they were unclear what “testing” Flores was referring to.
After the DOE had their 5 minute counter argument, the last question asked by the judges was whether or not NYC Schools was going to have the testing regime next school year. At that time the DOE attorney stated that decision had not yet been made. In the end, the judges denied the injunction and scheduled a hearing for July.
Now we know for sure there will definitely be in-school COVID testing in NYC Schools next year, as it was included in a letter home to parents from NYC Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter on May 24th. What the exact nature of that testing regime will be is unclear.
Will children be completely denied the right to an education in September 2021?
There will be no remote option offered to them, and the recent trend in New York has been to deny children an education due to forced medical mandates. On June 13, 2019, 26,000 children were banned from all New York state schools when the religious exemption to vaccination was repealed in Albany. A few months after that a few thousand more students had their long-standing medical exemptions to vaccination revoked by Governor Cuomo’s Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. Now in 2021, 12,000 NYC students are being denied a proper education because their parents won’t agree to the forced medical mandate of random in-school COVID testing without parents being present.
TEACHERS FOR CHOICE attorney Michael Sussman is involved in lawsuits addressing nearly all of these issues denying the fundamental right of an education to children in New York. He is the lead attorney suing Governor Cuomo and New York State for illegally repealing the religious exemption to vaccination, and is involved in a separate lawsuit for denying children the right to a medical exemption to vaccination. He also represents NYC DOE employees placed on unpaid leave who refuse to sign the in-school COVID testing consent form because they want to be tested by a medical professional of their choosing.
Stay tuned to http://www.nyteachersforchoice.org for updates on all of these legal cases.