Coronavirus News: Hundreds protest over closure of NY Catholic school

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YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- A rally was held in Yonkers Tuesday to help save a Catholic school shut down in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Several hundreds of people gathered in Yonkers Tuesday night to support their beloved school, St. Paul the Apostle, which goes from kindergarten through eighth grade.

"We're a family. This is what families do," father John Mitchell said.

Mitchell's three young boys attend this school, at least they used to.

"It's not right. It's not fair," fifth grader Iam Fullam said. "Means too much to us to let it go now."

Last Thursday, families found out the archdiocese decided to shut them down, seven weeks before the new school year.

RELATED | 26 Catholic schools in NYC will not reopen in wake of pandemic

They weren't even given a chance to raise funds to try and save their beloved school.

"We were heartbroken and sickened for days," mother Jeanellen Fullam said.

"Children are always the most innocent victims of any crisis," Timothy Cardinal Dolan said. "Given the devastation of this pandemic, I'm grateful more schools didn't meet this fate."

Actually, more than 20 schools met the same fate as St. Paul the Apostle, which Eyewitness News is told translates to 350 teachers, now without a job, and 2,500 students scrambling to find another school for the fall.

"We have instilled Christian values in our children," teacher Joan Larkin said. "I really don't think Cardinal Dolan is showing one iota of Christianity at the moment."

According to the archdiocese, it's a done deal.

Not enough families re-enrolled for the fall. But this St. Paul's community is not giving up. They are now fighting for the kind of miracle they teach their students is possible.

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Suddenly, the brutal death of George Floyd while in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis filled the streets of a nation with rage and sorrow. New York was no different. Protesters put the fear of the virus aside and took to the streets by the thousands. Abandoning the safety and comfort of social distance, to demand social change.


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