New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday explained his reason for keeping the city's public schools open despite the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), saying that closing them down might mean they'd stay shuttered for months.
“We shut down the school system, we might not see it for the rest of the school year. We might not see the beginning of the new school year. And that weighs heavily on me,” the mayor said, according to The New York Times.
Public school officials in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta and other major cities have closed down due to the virus.
Also, some states -- Virginia, Ohio, and Washington -- have closed all public schools.
The only school closures in New York thus far are those where students or teachers have already tested positive for the virus, Fox News added.
The network added:
In the Big Apple, shutting down schools would be one of the most consequential shutdowns in the country, and some have expressed concerns about possible ripple effects. Workers in crucial areas such as transportation and medical care, for instance, may have to take time off to care for children. Many low-income families also rely on schools for meals, medical help and even laundry services.
NY teachers unions are pressuring de Blasio to close schools but so far he's resisted those calls.
“We must find ways to keep our children safe and to see that they are fed. We must do all we can to help ensure that our students can continue to learn,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said in a statement. “But we have reached the point where continuing to keep our classrooms open poses a greater lasting threat than the disruption that will result from school closings.”