A City Council meeting on the reopening of schools descended into chaos Wednesday after a group of roughly a dozen spectators — some claiming to be Department of Education staffers — repeatedly shouted their opposition to new vaccine mandates.
Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn) warned them several times that they would be ejected before they were removed after an extended outburst.
With schools Chancellor Meisha Ross-Porter and city health commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi looking on, the group shouted opposition to the idea that DOE staffers opposed to the vaccine are facing termination.
One woman yelled that the vaccines “kill kids,” prompting Council Member Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn) to yell back that her claims were “nonsense.”
“You do not have the right to disrupt an important public meeting over and over again!” Treyger yelled at one point as the shouting rained down from the balcony. “Sergeant, have them removed. This is unacceptable.”
During a calmer portion of the meeting, Porter was asked if teachers who do not get vaccinated by a deadline later this month would be fired.
Porter declined to confirm that approach and said the DOE is still negotiating with the United Federation of Teachers on the issue.
As of last week, the city said that 72 percent of city teachers and 63 percent of all school staffers are confirmed to have been vaccinated.
The DOE has said that both numbers are likely higher because some workers have been vaccinated by private physicians or out of the city.
Porter repeated her belief that school employees would get vaccinated prior to the start of the school year.
Meanwhile, the DOE revealed some instructional specifics for kids who are quarantined.
Most elementary school students are ineligible for a vaccine because no doses have been approved for kids younger than 13.
If an entire class or school is quarantined, they will receive live digital instruction remotely.
If a portion of a class is quarantined, absent kids will learn remotely without live instruction.
Older kids who are vaccinated will not be subject to quarantine in the event of a classroom exposure as long as they are asymptomatic.
Citing mandated teacher vaccinations and partial student jabs, Mayor Bill de Blasio has predicted limited class and school closures this year.