Judge's ruling creates cliffhanger for NYC teacher vaccine mandate

 									Coronavirus								,  									Coronavirus in NY								,  									COVID vaccine								,  									department of education

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted a temporary injunction against the mandate on Sept. 24, 2021. Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

A federal appeals court has slammed the brakes on the city’s mandate that all teachers and other school workers be vaccinated by Monday — but a reprieve for the holdouts may be short-lived.

On Friday evening, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted a temporary injunction against the mandate, and sent the case to a three-judge panel for an “expedited review” — as soon as this weekend, according to one report.

“We’re confident our vaccine mandate will continue to be upheld once all the facts have been presented, because that is the level of protection our students and staff deserve,” said Danielle Filson, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Education.

She did not immediately say when the review is scheduled, but added, “We’re seeking speedy resolution by the Circuit Court next week.”

The DOE sent an email to city principals Saturday morning saying they “and their school communities should continue to prepare for the possibility that the vaccine mandate will go into effect later in the week.”

Meanwhile, the DOE’s current “vax-or-test” mandate remains in effect, she said.

“Over 82 percent of DOE employees have been vaccinated and we continue to urge all employees to get their shot by September 27th,” Filson said.

 									Coronavirus								,  									Coronavirus in NY								,  									COVID vaccine								,  									department of education

The DOE sent an email to principals telling them to continue to prepare for the possibility the vaccine mandate goes into effect later in the week.

Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

But as many as 28,000 school workers have yet to comply.

In addition, nearly 1,500 unvaccinated school safety agents — of 4,300 under NYPD supervision — could also be barred from working, creating a potential security crisis at schools.

The Teamsters union representing the agents, Local 237, is expected to file a labor complaint Monday because those on duty next week will be forced to work 12-hour shifts — 6 am. to 6 pm Monday through Friday — to make up for the gaps in staffing.

“Rather than negotiating with Local 237 prior to announcing and implementing the vaccine mandate to avoid this very problem, the City and NYPD now place the burden of their ill-considered policy choice on the backs” of the school safety agents, the complaint says, according to a copy obtained by The Post.

Meanwhile, some parents and staffers worried about safety amid a rising number of COVID cases among students and employees were set to rally Saturday at City Hall, calling for a remote instructional option.

One New York City school teacher told The Post said she had no intention of getting the COVID-19 vaccine and was willing to give up her six-figure salary.

 									Coronavirus								,  									Coronavirus in NY								,  									COVID vaccine								,  									department of education

Christina Coscia is a New York City public school teacher who refuses to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

J.C. Rice for NY Post

“I’ve never been so scared to do something and I can’t bring myself to do it,” Christina Coscia, 40, said about her fears of the vaccine and its potential side effects. “I can’t have sleepless nights thinking about the what ifs.”

Coscia, the site coordinator at the District 20 prekindergarten program in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, said she maintains a healthy lifestyle and does not worry about getting COVID-19.

Those who continue to decline the shot must take a year of unpaid leave with health benefits or exit the DOE with severance pay. The DOE offered medical and religious exemptions, but is said to be granting them sparingly.

The vaccine mandates are designed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

 									Coronavirus								,  									Coronavirus in NY								,  									COVID vaccine								,  									department of education

The DOE has offered medical and religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate.

LightRocket via Getty Images

But Coscia, who is part of a coalition called Teachers for Choice, said she does not believe the shots are life-saving because even those who are vaccinated could get sick and spread the coronavirus.

Scientists say, however, that vaccinated individuals are at a much lower risk of having a severe case of COVID-19 even if they do get a breakthrough infection.

Coscia said she did not know if she would go on leave or quit, and worried about making the mortgage payments on the Prospect Heights apartment she bought in the spring. She is paid $109,000.

She said her mother, a school aide, and her sister, a school secretary, were also not vaccinated and facing a similar loss of income.

“I apologized to my staff. I don’t know who’s going to be put in my place,” a tearful Coscia said. “I feel like I’m abandoning them.”

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