New York City, NY (April 11th, 2020)— Early today, Mayor Bill DeBlasio under the advice of public health experts, announced that schools would be closed for the remainder of the school year due to the raging coronavirus pandemic. At the epicenter of the decision is the crippling impact the virus has had on our city and people. Later today, Governor Cuomo announced that there was no decision to close schools yet and that as governor it was legally his sole decision to make.
This squabbling between the mayor and the governor is embarrassing and causing tremendous stress for families, students, and educators. Their inability to come together, and make decisions informed by the well being of students and families, is immoral and will continue to have disastrous consequences for our communities, especially those so deeply impacted by the inequity in healthcare and testing. Parents need clarity in this moment, but Governor Cuomo’s constant need to have control once again takes precedence over him making the right decision for families.
Delayed decision making has led New York City and the surrounding suburbs to become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, with far more cases than many countries have. It is time for Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio to end their narcissistic feud and start working together for the benefit of all of New York’s students and families.
We need leaders to put aside egos during this crisis and prioritize the well-being of students and their families. We need them to show leadership and to be on one accord for the health and safety of New York State and City. The consequence is unnecessary confusion and additional stress in a time when school communities are already traumatized.