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NYC public school teachers ask Supreme Court to block de Blasio’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate


NYC public school teachers make emergency Supreme Court application to block Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate from going into effect at 5pm Friday

  • The group of teachers sent a petition to Justice Sonia Sotomayor requesting an emergency injunction to block the mandate
  • They argue the mandate places an ‘unconstitutional burden’ on teachers and also ‘threatens the education of thousands of children’ 
  • Teachers across all public schools in the Big Apple have until 5pm Friday to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk losing their jobs
  • Bill De Blasio said Monday that 87% of all Department of Education employees in the city were already at least partially vaccinated, including 90% of teachers


New York City public school teachers have asked the Supreme Court for an emergency order to block Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate from going into effect Friday. 

The group of teachers sent a petition to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor arguing that the mandate not only places an ‘unconstitutional burden’ on the city’s 148,000 school workers but also ‘threatens the education of thousands of children.’  

Teachers across all public schools in the Big Apple have up until 5pm Friday to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk losing their jobs. 

When the school day starts the following Monday – October 4 – all teachers and staff arriving for work across the city’s public schools will have received at least their first dose of the vaccine. 

Unlike most vaccine mandates put in place such as by the federal government and private businesses across the country, the rule does not allow unvaccinated employees to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing instead of getting the shot.

Instead, anyone still unvaccinated by the deadline, will be ousted from their jobs.

New York City public school teachers have asked the Supreme Court for an emergency order to block Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate from going into effect Friday

Students and staff at Yung Wing School PS 124 school in New York City. Teachers across all public schools in the Big Apple have until 5pm Friday to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk losing their jobs

Students and staff at Yung Wing School PS 124 school in New York City. Teachers across all public schools in the Big Apple have until 5pm Friday to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk losing their jobs

The New York Department of Education employs 148,000 school workers, including 75,000 teachers. 

De Blasio said Monday that 87 percent of all Department of Education employees in the city were already at least partially vaccinated, including 90 percent of teachers and 97 percent of principals. 

This means around 7,500 teachers – 10 percent of all those in the city’s public schools – could be out of work by Monday.

Vaccination rates are lower – 82 percent – among other school workers, meaning thousands of support staff could also face the chop.  

In the 12-page petition, filed Thursday, the group of teachers argues the City of New York, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ‘created an Executive Order that places an unconstitutional burden on public-school teachers.’  

The mandate ‘forces unvaccinated public-school employees to go on unpaid leave for nearly a year’, the petition says.

The group say the mandate unfairly forces teachers out of work when other city employees including those who are also in contact with children can instead opt for weekly testing.

They argue that teachers should also have the option to undergo COVID-19 testing rather than being forced to take the shot. 

‘As the number of unvaccinated is small compared to that of the vaccinated, there is no basis to mandate vaccines in lieu of weekly testing,’ the petition said. 

As well as the impact on school staff, the petition argues the mandate also ‘threatens the education of thousands of children in the largest public-school system in the country and violates the substantive due process and equal protection rights afforded to all public-school employees.’  

The group of teachers argue that the mandate not only places an 'unconstitutional burden' on educators but also 'threatens the education of thousands of children'

The group of teachers argue that the mandate not only places an ‘unconstitutional burden’ on educators but also ‘threatens the education of thousands of children’

The last-ditch effort from the group comes after weeks of toing and froing over the mandate which saw a temporary block lifted Monday.  

Last Friday, an appeals judge ruled in favor of the teachers, putting a block on the mandate going into effect.

But a panel of federal judges reversed this decision Monday evening, lifting the block and giving de Blasio’s administration the green light to enforce the mandate. 

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued its ruling Monday evening and denied the original motion.  

De Blasio announced back in August that all school employees – including teachers, custodians and cafeteria workers – were required to get at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination by September 27.  

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