Mayor Adams blasts principals as another tells kids to stay masked


Another city school principal pressured kids to keep their faces covered despite the lifting of school mask mandates this week — even as Mayor Eric Adams ripped the practice as a form of administrative “bullying.”

Brooklyn Collaborative Studies principal Priscilla Chan sent parents a letter over the weekend after City Hall made masks optional beginning Monday.

“As of Mon 3/7, masks are no longer mandatory in DOE school buildings for students in Grades K-12,” Chan wrote. “We strongly recommend that students and staff continue to wear masks in school to keep everyone safe.”

Parents said the directive undermined their ability to make a decision for their children on the fraught issue.

“Tell me, what student is going to wear a mask after the head of their school tells them not to?” asked one parent. “Is that realistic? Of course not. This is an abuse of power and they know exactly what they’re doing.”

Brooklyn Collaborative Studies principal Priscilla Chan sent a letter to parents recommending that children stay masked despite the city's school mandate being lifted this week.
Brooklyn Collaborative Studies principal Priscilla Chan sent a letter to parents recommending that children stay masked despite the city’s school mandate being lifted this week.
Parents complained that Chan's letter is unfairly pressuring kids to keep a mask on.
Parents of Brooklyn Collaborative Studies students complained that Chan’s letter is unfairly pressuring kids to keep a mask on.
Angel Chevrestt

Another parent echoed that concern, saying “students weren’t put in a position where they had much of a choice.”

Adams appeared to agree with that position Tuesday when asked about a similar rogue principal at Manhattan’s elite Beacon High School.

“We’re not going to bully students,” the mayor said in response to a question about Beacon letting teachers decide whether they will require masks in class.

“The message came from the mayor and the chancellor that children do not have to wear a mask in schools.”

Adams referred to schools pressuring students to keep masks on as a form of bullying.
Adams referred to schools pressuring students to keep masks on as a form of bullying.
Matthew McDermott
The mask mandate was lifted for a city public school students from kindergarten to grade 12.
The mask mandate was lifted for city public school students from kindergarten to grade 12.
Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

While he stressed that children and their families are free to continue to wear face coverings, Adams said teachers and administrators should not attempt to influence that decision.

“There are thousands of teachers, and if each one wants to have their own policy — that cannot happen in our school system,” Adams said, asserting that he and schools Chancellor David Banks had set out clear guidance.

Chan's letter came after the principal at Beacon High School in Manhattan made issued a similar note to parents.
Chan’s letter came after the principal at Beacon High School in Manhattan sent a similar note to parents.
Twitter / @bradlander

Like Chan, Beacon principal Brady Smith told parents that teachers reserved the right to ask their kids to wear masks.

“While teachers cannot mandate a mask in their classroom, they may request that students wear one as many of us have vulnerable loved ones at home,” Smith said.

Several Beacon students told The Post Monday that they were pressured by staffers to keep their faces covered.

“My history teacher asked us to please keep wearing our masks,” one senior said. “I don’t think it’s right, the social pressure he was creating.”

One student said he took his mask off and then quickly reconsidered after a staffer made their position on coverings clear.

“The decision to wear or not wear a face covering is now entirely up to students, parents and staff; those decisions should be respected and those criticizing others for their decisions should be counseled to respect the choices of others,” a DOE spokesman said of the issue on Monday.

While masks are optional for kindergartners through 12th-graders, tots ages 2 to 4 must still wear them.



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