Massive school safety agent shortage looms in NYC as vaccine mandate set to take effect
More than 5,000 school safety agents guard the doors and hallways of New York City’s roughly 1,600 schools.
This coming Tuesday, hundreds of these officers, if not thousands, might come off the payroll, as the city’s vaccine mandate takes effect.
Schools are trying to prepare for the fallout from the city’s vaccine mandate, which gives any school-based employee until the end of day this Monday to submit proof of their first dose.
The education department estimates some 10,000 teachers have yet to upload proof of vaccination, while the teachers union said Friday the number of unvaccinated teachers was closer to 6,000. Still, nearly 20,000 other school-based workers also have not yet complied, including large numbers of school safety agents. The vaccination rate for school safety agents could be as low as 40%, the head of the safety agents union told the New York Post.
Principals were told this week that schools without metal detectors would likely only get one school safety agent reporting for duty, said Mark Cannizzaro, head of the union representing school administrators, at a joint press conference with the head of the teachers union on Friday. Schools with scanners would get slightly more. Safety agents will also be required to do 12-hour shifts, principals told Chalkbeat.
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