Group of teachers files lawsuit over COVID-19 safety concerns

With remote learning starting on Wednesday and in-person classes starting on Monday, some teachers are taking their classes outside. And some have filed a lawsuit so they won't have to head back to school.

News 12 Staff

Sep 16, 2020, 1:19 AM

Updated 1,343 days ago

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With remote learning starting on Wednesday and in-person classes starting on Monday, some teachers are taking their classes outside. And some have filed a lawsuit so they won't have to head back to school.
The city shut down a Brooklyn school for at least 24 hours after the building had two confirmed coronavirus cases. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio says the plan for in-person learning will stay on schedule with classes beginning on Monday.
That's why five teachers have filed a lawsuit and were granted a temporary restraining order on Monday--prohibiting them from returning to their school due to safety concerns.
Eric Severson, one of those teachers, hopes that the restraining order will be extended.
"There is still bathrooms without soap and hand sanitizer. All they're really doing is just propping up the window with a piece of wood,” said Severson.
Another teacher at Clara Barton High School, Lydia Howrilka, says she and others are adding their names to the class-action suit so that they too can be eligible to work from home.
Howrilka tells News 12 she lives with her 73-year-old mother, who has respiratory issues and is concerned she'll get her sick.
She says she's hopeful the judge will agree that more teachers need to receive coronavirus exemptions.
A spokesperson with the Department of Health told News 12 in a statement, "DOE is prioritizing health and safety while making vital in-person education available to students. We oppose the court's temporary ruling and are considering next steps."
The next hearing in this case is scheduled for Friday.


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