BROOKLYN— A Brooklyn nurse juggled saving lives and her son’s education for months during the pandemic and, though helping him was a challenge, there are more difficulties around sending the 10-year-old boy back to school.
New York City schools pivoted to remote learning months ago. Tiffany McNeil would come home from a 12-hour shift at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn and then help her son with classwork.
“I was physically drained,” McNeil said. “I was mentally exhausted and then I try to come home and muster up enough energy to actually help him with his homework, all the same the time learning what I needed to to help him, it was very difficult.”
The Brooklyn mom wants her son back in the classroom this fall, but only if it’s safe.
“Make sure the kids are protected with masks, have social distance in place, make sure the area is clean,” she said. “That is my biggest thing: cleaning the areas after the children actually use it.”
Areas that need to be cleaned include door knobs, water fountains and bathrooms.
McNel said a staggered school schedule will make her feel more comfortable putting her son back in school too, but she’ll have to call in the troops for help.
“Like the old saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child,'” she said. “I’ll be getting my parents and my sisters to help.”
She’s also trained her son on how to wear a mask and keep it on, but she said that lesson will only work if schools do their part; that includes professional training for the janitorial staff and airborne precautions, similar to what hospitals have.
According to the Department of Education by the time schools are reopened, custodians will be equipped to handle the constant deep cleanings.