ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) launched a new website Monday designed to help track coronavirus-related health and safety concerns in schools across New York State.
The website is reportedly intended to crowdsource reports of health and safety violations and concerns by school staff members, parents, and community members. It is said to include a mapping tool that shows district-be-district information reported to NYSUT in order to help community members easily identify issues in their region.
“A consistent flow of information about the safety of our schools is critical for educators, students and families, and this website is designed to help us all stay vigilant as the school year rolls on,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “Though we know some districts are working closely with their staffs to put health and safety first, problems still exist around the state. By empowering educators and community members to report their concerns, it’s our hope that we can elevate the voices of those who otherwise may go unheard.”
NYSUT says it is important to track the concerns of union members across NYS with issues related to insufficient ventilation, mask policies, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols as the winter months approach. They believe more informed decisions can be made with the help of public input while some districts change reopening strategies and deal with outbreaks in their communities.
“Communities should receive not only real-time COVID-19 infection data, but also a fuller picture of the issues educators are raising with their administrators,” Pallotta said. “We must continue to err on the side of caution. Identifying hot spots can help us do so.”