Bronx teacher denounces vaccine mandate for school workers, expresses worry for student stability
The vaccine mandate for teachers across the city went into effect on Monday and those who didn't get the shot were removed from payroll.
Michelle Russo, a teacher from M.S. 101 in Throgs Neck, says she taught literacy to students, until Monday--since she did not meet the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The Bronx teacher chose not to comply and says it's very upsetting that city workers aren't held to the same standard. "We should all be entitled to our own personal decisions, I mean as vaccinated people they can actually continue to spread COVID too but they're not losing their paychecks so I don't understand why I would be losing mine, you know, and there's several teachers in my school that lost their jobs too," Russo.
Although Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 95% of teachers working full-time in the city have been vaccinated, Russo is part of the 5% who are not.
Russo says she chose not to get vaccinated because it's her personal choice and believes vaccinated people can also spread COVID-19. As a 10-year member of the teacher's union, she is hoping they will continue to fight and overturn the vaccine mandate--saying she would be willing to test each week to be able to continue to teach.
Russo says she is worried about the stability of her students and thinks that should be the biggest concern. She says it is not fair that other city workers don't have the same vaccine mandate.
The Department of Education has 9,000 vaccinated substitute teachers available to fill empty spots.