‘The virus is not real’: NYC teacher struggles to keep students wearing masks

‘The virus is not real’: NYC teacher struggles to keep students wearing masks

October 3, 2020

It’s a teacher’s worst nightmare in the age of COVID-19.

Misbehaving high school students take off their masks in class and dare anyone to stop them, a South Bronx English teacher told The Post.

“The virus is not real. That’s why my parents are sending me,” one student declared, the teacher said. Many kids call the virus “fake.”

Some students clown around, removing their masks and pretending to cough or sneeze: “They think it’s funny.”

Others complain “I can’t breathe” because they say their masks are too tight.

Each class has around 9 to 11 students in person and then another 30 or so remotely.

Having to enforce safety rules such as face coverings and social distancing is a constant battle, the teacher said.

“I’m telling one, ‘Hey, put your mask on.’ I turn my head and boom, there’s another one maskless.”

The teacher, who simultaneously live-streams lessons to students learning remotely, said rowdy kids in the room cause constant disruptions.

“You have to mute your mike because you’re yelling at kids,” the teacher said. “Repeatedly this week, I had to stop the lesson because kids took off their masks.”

The interruptions rob the students, both in class and at home, who want to learn, he said.

Despite assurances by Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza that students who refuse to wear masks will be sent home, administrators do not eject offenders, the teacher said.

“Nothing is happening. School safety is not removing them from the classroom,” he said.

Instead, administrators simply try to persuade students to comply.

In his school, students are assigned to the same classroom all day, while different subject teachers come and go. Kids may be left alone in the room for a minute or two during the transition.

“They get the freedom of that 90 seconds with no adult in the room, and they’re all over the place. They take their masks off. They’re close together having conversations. It’s a s–t show,” the teacher said.

Teens hate sitting at their desks all day, even for lunch when they are allowed to remove their masks for 20 minutes to eat. Some kids take longer than necessary on restroom visits. Or they just get up and leave the room, the teacher said.

“Even the well-behaved kids are really restless, but the kids with behavior issues are going bonkers,” he said.

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