New York City public school parent Cynthia Nixon is condemning Mayor Eric Adams and his handling of keeping public schools open during the pandemic.
“Every day fewer & fewer people & whoever is left gets herded into the cafeteria to play Russian roulette over lunch,” Nixon, 55, wrote on Twitter. “The many quarantining students & teachers today were joined by our principal himself who tested +.”
Nixon, who ran for governor of New York in 2018, criticized Mayor Adams last week for his COVID-19 safety protocols.
“He says they’re ‘randomly testing’ 20% of the students, but with all the caveats on who is tested, yesterday at my 10 yo’s school only 12 students out of 305 were tested,” Nixon alleged. "That’s 3.9% of the student body.”
"Last spring Congress gave $123 billion to K-12 schools for Covid preparedness. Why isn’t NYC 'prepared?'" she added.
The “Sex and the City” actor also shared a lengthy Reddit post from a student chronicling the chaos at their New York City high school. (TODAY reached out and verified the identity of the Reddit writer, who wishes to remain anonymous.)
“I’d like to preface this by stating that remote learning was absolutely detrimental to the mental health of myself, my friends, and my peers at school,” the student's post begins. “Despite this, the present conditions within schools necessitates a temporary return to remote learning; if not because of public health, then because of learning loss.”
In the post, the student said that “the situation is beyond control,” with “no learning occurring,” and described school as “quiet and empty” due to COVID-related absences. Bathrooms are crowded with kids taking rapid COVID tests.
“In study hall and with subs we literally learn nothing,” the student wrote. “I spent about 3 hours sitting around today doing nothing.”
But Nixon doesn't think going back to a remote learning model is necessarily the answer.
“We’re almost 2 years into the pandemic & we know know what works to keep schools open — just look what private schools do,” she wrote on Twitter. “Students & staff test BEFORE returning to school; schools go remote after breaks to give time to get results; masks distributed widely; testing weekly.”
According to the New York City Department of Education, public schools in the city reported 14,123 cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Those cases affected 11,825 students and 2,298 staff members.
Last week, Mayor Adams defended his pandemic response and stressed the importance of keeping schools open for vulnerable students, including those with disabilities.
“From increased testing to PPE (personal protective equipment), we are making sure that our schools are safe, and we work closely with our labor partners, parents, and community members to ensure our schools stay safely open," Adams said in a press release. "Nothing is more important than the health and safety of students and staff."