United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President Michael Mulgrew addressed members of the media and educators to discuss the shift to a mask-optional school policy which began on March 7.
The mask-optional policy only applies to students in grades K-12, while students in 3K and Pre-K will still be required to wear masks while in school.
Speaking outside of the Shuang Wen School in Manhattan on Monday, Mulgrew reassured parents and educators that the mask-optional policy has been thoroughly vetted by doctors and medical professionals to ensure the safety of students and school faculty.
“It’s been a long time that we have waited to be in this position,” said Mulgrew during the press conference. “There’s been hundreds of meetings with doctors, hundreds of meetings of looking at data and all of the different things that we have learned throughout this pandemic. Our doctors have said to us ‘if you are going to be responsible in terms of getting out of a pandemic, you are going to have to go through a phase where you will loosen some of the restrictions but you must keep up the monitoring at all times and that is very very important.”