Shame on you Mr. de Blasio!

Laura Mourino
4 min readSep 19, 2021



Shame on you Mr. de Blasio for making NYC Department of Education (DOE) employees with serious existing medical conditions feel guilty about applying for the NYC DOE covid-related medical accommodations. Of course we miss our students. There are no words to explain observing in real-time our students grow academically and socially through our mentoring. Much of our purpose in life is educating our students and we absolutely would love to be back with our students in person but covid’s evolution coupled with the recent outbreaks amongst those vaccinated put our lives at risk.

Shame on you Mr. de Blasio for making NYC (DOE) employees with serious existing medical conditions question our talent. Your recent repertoire on the issue of covid-related medical accommodations stresses your concern on who might apply and suggests educators are trying to find a way out of teaching. In the absence of covid, we are brilliant, committed, dedicated and passionate educators. Our day does not end at 3 pm and our vacations do not start In late June. We think about our students year-round and our existing medical conditions in no way impede our ability to educate our students in the absence of a pandemic. We are acclaimed authors, artists, inventors, and educational specialists.

Shame on you Mr. de Blasio for not providing the public with a safe commute. Our public transit system is not only violent but violates all the CDC safety guidelines. All New Yorkers must rethink their commutes and those with existing medical conditions are being very creative — some are commuting one hour earlier to avoid crowded trains, others are driving in and paying expensive private garages. I personally purchased an electric scooter and already had my first accident — on the first day of school.

Shame on you Mr. de Blasio for making people with serious existing medical conditions experience extreme unnecessary anxiety this past week about applying for the NYC DOE covid-related medical accommodations. We are applying for something without a clue as to what we are applying for. Your lack of transparency in detailing what accommodations will be given to people with existing medical accommodations reinforces your tenure policy of address the crisis AFTER it emerges. You don’t have a plan. And given your lack of sensitivity and willingness to acknowledge that numerous DOE personnel present with severe medical conditions — many of which have developed these conditions on the job including hypertension as I have — are left to fear that whatever you do offer will be punitive in nature. Rumors abound of “warehousing” those granted the covid-related medical accommodations and supplying us with a computer so all of us are teaching in the same large space — similar to a telemarketing approach. Mr. de Blasio, surely you cannot think our students will be able to hear their educator’s instruction if we are all in the same space speaking into a computer nor should you imagine even for a moment that this would create a safer environment for those with existing medical conditions.

Shame on you Mr. de Blasio for assuming you and your team have the equivalent expertise of my medical practitioners regarding my specific medical situation. I see them regularly, in some cases for years and even decades. I am not sure how your team can question my expert’s diagnosis after reviewing one piece of paper in under one hour.

Shame on you Mr. de Blasio for not respecting the medical rights of your personnel. If we are granted a covid-related medical accommodation, it will now be obvious that it is due to existing medical conditions — hence violating our medical privacy rights. But this is not surprising given NYC DOE does very little to respect the privacy of students with IEP: it is not hard at all to figure out — based on current DOE protocols and practices — which student in the class has an IEP.

So what happens next in this poorly played lightning game of chess?

1. We will apply for the covid-related medical accommodations due to our existing medical conditions by the end of the school day tomorrow.

2. Your team will select the 5,000 or so who meet your “standards”.

3. You will proceed to provide us with accommodations that are sub-par than are current working conditions if it entails anything other than remote instruction.

4. When those denied the covid-related medical accommodations become ill, New York City will be sued to the point of bankruptcy.

As such, I suggest on the eve of the NYC DOE covid-related medical accommodation deadline you seriously reconsider your policy and approve all that apply with appropriate documentation and provide them the safest accommodation to ensure their medical well-being — nothing less than teaching remotely from the safety of their home — alone and without having to commute.

Shame on you Mr. de Blasio for engaging in blatant public discrimination against NYC DOE employees with existing medical conditions.

I suggest you seek good legal counsel.

(ps. I will refer to you as Mayor when you start acting like one. You still have three months left. Here is a great opportunity to earn that title Blasio.)



Laura Mourino

Education Activist. Math Adjunct Professor — Baruch and Hunter College (CUNY) , The New School and NYC public school Math Educator (Harvest Collegiate HS)