Hundreds of retired and current teachers descended on New York City on Monday to protest both Mayor de Blasio’s citywide vaccine mandate and the Biden administration’s statewide vaccine-based limitations, with protestors advocating for individual choice in taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
They gathered in Foley Square for a “Freedom Rally” organized by NY Teachers For Choice, a group made up of both teachers and parents who are opposed to medical mandates that require people to keep their jobs.
“I have lived and worked in this city as a civil servant for 28 years of my life,” Amy Carroll, a retired teacher, told PIX11. “I should be able to make my own health decisions and make a decision that doesn’t affect my employment that doesn’t affect my right to go to a restaurant, or a Broadway play, a museum.”
“I think what they’re doing in America, they’re taking away our rights about all decisions, medical decisions, we’re standing here we’re letting the government take over everything,” Bill Carrol, Amy’s husband and retired teacher added.
“I submitted my retirement on August 8 because of de Blasio,” Wade Willett, a recently retired science teacher said. “I had COVID in March of 2020 and I recovered from it, so I felt I’m immune, I’m a science teacher and they said ‘you’re not.'”
Protesters spoke out in response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s August announcement that all City of New York employees, including public school teachers, would be required to be vaccinated.
Employees subject to the mandate must receive their first dose by the end of September. The teachers at the protest argued that getting vaccinated is a personal health decision that should not be mandated by the government.
“I came with a bunch of teachers from a school in Whitestone, Queens,” said educator Alycia Morell. “We’re here because of the mandates, some of us are even vaccinated, but we’re fighting the mandate and we don’t want the children to have to be mandated for vaccines — so we’re fighting for everybody not just ourselves.”
Protestors carried signs that read “Last years heroes, this years unemployed,” “My body, my choice,” and “I call the shots.”
According to PIX11, NY Teachers For Choice has announced that they will sue the city over de Blasio’s mandate. This would be in addition to a suit filed by local restaurant owners who are also opposed to the requirements.
New York teachers protest against vaccine mandates
New York City teachers and school staff are speaking out against the state’s vaccine and mask mandates. One America’s Benjamin Nichols has the story.