93 percent of NYC public school teachers to be allowed into classes Monday, 7 percent unvaccinated

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- By Monday morning, 93 percent of public school teachers in New York City will be allowed back into their classes - that leaves seven percent with no vaccine, which means no work.

"Do I take this shot and go to work and be with the children that I love and physically and financially be able to take care of my family? Or do I not do it and financially not be able to take care of my family? Now, that's a horrible place to be," said NYC elementary school teacher Roxanne Rizzi.

The soul-searching debate is hitting unvaccinated NYC public school teachers hard this weekend. Do they or don't they get the shot?

They know they stand to lose their jobs, but they also know they don't trust the vaccine.

"I believe that goes against my faith. So that is betrayal of my faith in God.
And for that reason, I have decided not to," said Stephanie Edmonds.

Edmonds is a 10th grade social studies teacher, and says she dug deep into her Jewish faith to decide she will not roll up her sleeve.

The city reports about 7 percent of teachers were still holding out on Friday, which means if they don't get vaccinated over the weekend, they cannot come to school on Monday morning.

Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter is insisting there are enough substitute teachers, who are vaccinated, to ensure more than a million public school students will continue to be taught in person.

"We hope and look forward to teachers continuing to get vaccinated over the weekend, because I they do, we look forward to welcoming them back into their classrooms. We want them with their students, we want them with our babies," she said.

Some teachers are hoping to find jobs elsewhere. The city is hoping them many will have decided to get vaccinated over the weekend - the clock is ticking.

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COVID-19 doesn't discriminate against who gets sick, but some some groups have been hit harder. And they're the most likely not to have insurance.

Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter on Friday reiterated that the city believes they have enough substitutes for Monday.

"We've been working on those plans every single day, and I'm going to continue to encourage our teachers to be vaccinated because we want them in our classrooms," she said. "However, what we are also excited about as we head into this moment is that we have more subs that are vaccinated then unvaccinated teachers, and our superintendents have been working with our principals to ensure our children get the education and continue to get the education they deserve in person."

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