NYC Department of Education investigating middle school COVID play

To inject or not to beat is the question.

Upper West Side High School is facing a storm from parents after staging a play that warned that unvaccinated children would have no friends.

The December holiday show at MS 243 Center on 84th Street and Columbus Avenue was attended by about 10 students in grades 5-8, who swayed back and forth, reciting lyrics to the tune of the 80’s hit “The Safety Dance”, including numbers: “It’s safe to wax / and if your friends don’t wax / then they don’t have friends.”

The performance was more of a PSA than a game, clarifying the importance of vaccines through dance numbers, songs and scenes that ridiculed those who did not stand in line.

During one sketch, the children held plaques with the names of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers “Pfizer” and “Moderna”, drawn in red and drawn in the contour of the syringe.

In another scene, students mocked conservatives and those seeking medical or religious relief from the blow. Some held placards reading “I fear God, not COVID” and “I am not a scientific experiment”.

The play showed vivid signs designed to mock vaccine skeptics.

They were placed next to people who were supposed to look crazy, including one child dressed as a box of Kool cigarettes and the other as Napoleon Bonaparte. Another student paraded across the stage as Jacob Chansley, a notorious participant in the Capitol riots on Jan. 6 in a hat with horns and fur, who was recently sentenced to 41 months in prison.

Parents, outraged by the theatricality, said that then the play should not have continued.

“It was an abomination,” said Antigone’s mother Michaelides, who was watching the play with her husband. “It’s discrimination and bullying, and there’s no reason for children to feel bad. Have they survived a little in two years? ”

Antigone Michael
Antigone Michaelides ’mom is angry that the show has been allowed to continue

Michaelides said several unvaccinated children had to take part in the production, which denigrated their parents ’decision to keep them without vaccinations. She said the show was set up by teachers at the school and was part of a broader climate of intolerance, and that unvaccinated children, such as her son, were often singled out.

“I know for a fact that he was subjected to insulting things that were said around him. I can tell you that for sure, ”Michaelides said. “Other kids told him offensive things about the vaccine.”

She shared her concerns with Fr. fierce letter to school superintendent Christine Laughlin.

A spokesman for the Department of Education said the agency was investigating the matter.

“How is it acceptable for a teacher or teachers to promote an agenda that encourages some children to stand up against other children in the same school,” she asked.

Laughlin did not respond to a request for comment from The Post.

“My husband and I are both lifelong Democrats. We do not approach this from a political and ideological point of view, ”Michalides insisted. “But I can’t accept bullying or discrimination, and no parents should. That is why we are in a very difficult situation here. We feel lonely. “

A spokesman for the Department of Education said the agency was investigating the matter.

“Every student deserves to be welcomed to their school, and this incident was immediately sent for investigation,” said spokesman Nathaniel Steer.

New York City does not require coronavirus vaccination from public school students unless they participate in “extracurricular sports and high-risk activities,” according to the city’s education department.

Only 195 of MS 243, about 247 students, are currently vaccinated, said parent director Elaine Schwartz in a December email.


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