March/April 2021 Issue
February 28, 2021

Do the math: 6 feet = 6 feet

Source: NYSUT United
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North Syracuse EA retiree Phil Cleary shared the following image on Twitter of a classroom with desks safely spaced in 6-foot intervals and called out Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon for the push to reduce to three feet.

“In other words regular school spacing — bad call.”

Late in February, many districts and schools exhibited ongoing confusion over the guidelines for safely returning to inperson instruction.

Some districts experienced pressure to reduce social distancing guidelines from six feet to three feet, to be able to bring more students back into the classroom.

Rumors suggested that state officials were preparing to relax safety standards.

Through it all, NYSUT and local teachers unions provided the voice of clarity, consistency and reason.

“As educators, we want our students to return to schools as soon as it is safe,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “Contrary to recent reports, the safety standards surrounding a return to in-person instruction in schools have NOT changed, nor has the science behind those standards.

“The New York State Department of Health and the CDC all agree: The safety of our students demands mandatory mask wearing and six feet of social distancing or the use of effective physical barriers.

Decisions must also still be made collaboratively with parents and educators. These standards have not and must not change.”

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