ALBANY, N.Y. — The union representing New York's teachers has launched a website of its own to track COVID-19 cases and safety concerns in schools across the state.
The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) said the website is intended to crowdsource reports of health and safety violations and concerns identified by school staff members, parents and community members.
“A consistent flow of information about the safety of our schools is critical for educators, students and families, and this website is designed to help us all stay vigilant as the school year rolls on,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “Though we know some districts are working closely with their staffs to put health and safety first, problems still exist around the state. By empowering educators and community members to report their concerns, it’s our hope that we can elevate the voices of those who otherwise may go unheard.”
With winter on the way, NYSUT said it's critical that concerns such as mask policies, insufficient ventilation and cleaning protocols are shared and addressed. The union says between shifting reopening strategies and outbreaks in some districts, public input is key so informed decisions can be made.
“Communities should receive not only real-time COVID-19 infection data, but also a fuller picture of the issues educators are raising with their administrators,” Pallotta said. “We must continue to err on the side of caution. Identifying hot spots can help us do so.”