NYC school safety agent shortage looms ahead of DOE vaccine mandate deadline

Coronavirus

NEW YORK — New York City’s COVID vaccine mandate for teachers and DOE staff goes into effect on Friday, and while most teachers and principals are vaccinated, nearly 1,400 school safety agents are not.

The NYPD said just 72% of school safety agents have received the COVID vaccine — a stark contrast from the 97% of principals and 91% of teachers who are vaccinated, according to Department of Education data.

Staten Island City Councilman Joe Borelli said Tottenville High School, with its 3,800 students, will be short three safety agents who recently tested negative for COVID but do not want to get vaccinated

“To sacrifice safety at a high school or middle school, sacrificing safety at the front door of an elementary school, seems utterly ridiculous when these people who don’t want to get vaccinated will gladly submit to weekly testing,” the councilman said.

Come Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio will have to call on the remaining school safety agents to fill the gaps with overtime.

Greg Floyd, head of the school safety agents union, said that’s not a backup plan.

“Whoever you replace the school safety agents with, they won’t have the training. They won’t know the schools, they won’t know the children. So there, you will have what everyone feared: a disaster. People who don’t understand the children,” he said.

The head of the principals union asked the mayor to take the next few days to figure out staffing needs to ensure all schools can operate come Monday morning when the COVID vaccine mandate kicks in.

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