‘Turning into a class war’: Dozens of NYC education staffers to be put on leave, accused of forging vax cards

Starting Monday, a number of employees of New York City’s Department of Education will be on leave without pay.

The New York Post is reporting that the employees are being suspended for allegedly using fake cards to prove they had complied with COVID-19 vaccination orders.

The notices arrived through email on Wednesday, informing the staffers—which include teachers and administrative staff—that they need not return to work following the current spring break.

Screenshots of the notice provided to the New York Post illustrate the ominous nature of the command, which is couched in vaguely-threatening bureaucratese, full of acronyms and official-sounding jargon.


“We have received information that the proof of vaccination that you uploaded to the DOE Vaccine Portal,” the notice reads, “pursuant to the New York City Health Commissioner’s Order requiring vaccination of all NYCDOE staff, was fraudulent. Compliance with that Order is a condition of NYCDOE employment. Since we have reason to believe that you have not complied with that Order, effective Monday, April 25, 2022, you are being placed on Leave Without Pay with benefits until further notice. You should not report to your school/work location after the April vacation and your school/office will be notified of this change in your status.”

Speaking to PIX 11 News, Nathaniel Styer, a spokesman for the New York City Department of Education, stated: “Fraudulent vaccination cards are not only illegal, they also undermine the best line of protection our schools have against COVID-19—universal adult vaccination. We immediately moved to put these employees—fewer than 100—on leave without pay.”

However, the teachers’ union has taken issue with the notices, pointing out that some of the notified teachers have contacted the DOE to dispute the allegations.

Beth Norton, who is a general counsel with the union (the United Federation of Teachers), wrote to the DOE on behalf of affected union members.

“It is wholly improper,” she wrote, according to PIX11 News, which has seen the letter, “for the DOE to unilaterally remove UFT members from the payroll based on mere conjecture that vaccination documentation is fraudulent.”

This latest incident comes amid a number of similar revolts against the city’s draconian vaccine mandates. Several of the city’s agencies have had trouble with fake vaccination cards, and in December, two high-ranking NYPD officers, Lt. Joseph Marsella and Capt. Desmond Morales, were busted for submitting phony cards.

It’s an unfortunate situation, and a stark warning against the dangers of government overreach. Michael Kane, of the group Teachers for Choice, is not surprised by what is happening. His organization is dedicated to combating the imposition of COVID vaccine mandates on teachers and students.

“It’s not surprising when people’s entire lives are threatened that they get desperate,” he told the New York Post. “It’s a shame that these individuals’ names aren’t Kyrie Irving or someone else who’s in a more powerful position, because it really seems like these mandates are turning into a class war.” That was a thinly-veiled reference, of course, to New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ exemption for professional athletes.

In the meantime, the allegations against the educators and administrative staff will be investigated by the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City Department of Education.


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Todd Jaquith


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