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NEW YORK (PIX11) — About 70 teachers in New York City have been accused by the Department of Education of submitting fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, according to the United Federation of Teachers union.

Schools Chancellor David Banks joined PIX on Politics to discuss the investigation. 

“They can’t return unless they can prove that their vaccination is legit,” he said. “If it was, then ‘Welcome back!’ But if they cannot, they will be on unpaid leave and ultimately may be terminated.”

Banks said that the accused teachers would have their leave lifted either after they’re vaccinated or if the matter has been fully cleared up. The UFT said in a statement on Friday the allegations are “unproven.”

Vaccination is the first line of defense for the students and colleagues, according to Banks. Aside from the investigation, he also talked about the impact of the crime uptick on students, expansion of the “Gifted and Talented” program, the mask mandate for children under 5 years old, and more.

Watch the video player above for the full interview.