NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The coronavirus outbreak has turned living rooms and kitchen tables into classrooms, and parents and guardians into teachers.

It has been a challenge for many families who were looking forward to some time off, including Tami Cherichetti of Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, who told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez on Wednesday her 12-year-old son is struggling.

“He’s miserable. He doesn’t like it at all. He has breakdowns. When he gets to a point where he’s done, I end school for the day,” Cherichetti said.

But that rest-and-recharge time Cherichetti expected isn’t happening.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently issued an executive order mandating all public schools cancel spring break and instead continue remote learning.

Thousands of people, including teachers, students and parents, have already signed a petition, asking the governor to change his mind.

“The kids need a break. The teachers need a break. The parents need a break. Everybody needs to have some type of time where you don’t have to think about anything,” Cherichetti said.

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New York City Public Schools will still have off April 9-12 for the religious holiday, but the United Federation of Teachers said starting April 13 remote learning will continue with special programming.

“I know it’s not fair, but it’s not fair what’s going on all throughout our communities,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.

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Mulgrew sent a video message to teachers praising them for their work and being one of the biggest lifelines in the fight against COVID-19.

“We need you to be engaged that week with your students, with their families, because the last thing we want are people to feel that it’s time, the time is off, the weather is getting better and people are going out again and spreading this virus,” Mulgrew said.


There are families who don’t mind giving up spring break. Working mom Jeehae Lee from the Upper West Side said it’s very stressful juggling her job and homeschooling both her children.

“If the kids were on a spring break, quote unquote, we’re not. We’re gonna still have to struggle and balance work with trying to come up with things to do with them,” Lee said. “If they have something productive to do, I think is so great.”

The bottom line is it’s not easy for most taking on this new way life and learning, making sacrifices until it’s safe to go back to what we knew as normal.

Comments (4)
  1. cojo says:

    Teachers, Parents and Students deserve respite with so many friends and family members sick with Coronavirus or dead. We need time to process this traumatic experience and to think. Also Religious Freedom should not be taken away for Jews observing Passover and Christians Observing Holy Week, Easter etc. Where is the respect for students, teachers and their families. In addition the NYC Public school do not deserve a break? You closed the schools late causing Principals and Teachers to die, now you want to impinge on religions and time off that was promised at the beginning of the School Year. Meanwhile Private Schools and Charter Schools still have a Spring Break. Crossing the class lines now so poor people suffer the most! Lets not talk about the excessive over 10 hours of screen time and work 7 days a week. You are killing parents students that dont deserve it. Public Schools were mishandled and are still being treated inferiors with the unfair decisions being imposed!

  2. David Sanchez says:

    your kids might had have those two weeks off from school but a lot of kids are getting overwhelmed with work and more work which isn’t fair!!!! Us students are getting so much work, work that we barley did in schools and this goes for everybody. We did work and we received homework but it was never like the amount of work we were given!!! Kids get stressed out believe it or not but this is not an easy transition for kids and parents. A lot of kids and parents were looking forward for that break to finally get that time off to stop working cause a lot of these kids don’t understand the work and wouldn’t get it because they’re not used to it. NOT EVERYBODY HAS MONEY TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD!!!! Not everybody gets to see their kids because of their jobs and maybe this time would be the best to be together as a family. You could still do productive things if you make your kids do them and you could even still teach them their eduction by playing games or watching historical movies or even doing real world math outside if they’re little kids. There is so much things you can do to help your kids not unless you just let your kids play video games all day and do what ever they want which is where they become unproductive and lose touch with everything!!!!!!!! We students need this break to stop all this stress from the work

  3. BKM says:

    My kids were off for two weeks, then started distance learning this week. Why on earth do they need another week off??? They have already lost so much time, and they are just getting into the rhythm of distance education. And it isn’t like we can go on vacation to Disney World or anything! The kids need to continue their education

    1. dame says:

      Listen woman, believe it or not, overworking is a thing. Maybe your kid in elementary or whatever got two weeks off and didn’t do anything, doesen’t mean anyone else didn’t do any work. My kids had to do work even when they were ‘off for 2 weeks’ Also, they are being over worked. they never got as much work as they do now. My kids literally have mental breakdowns over the amount of homework they have. I’m a teacher, and im telling you that my kids and i are both stressed. you can shove your opinion elsewhere and freaking start your own freaking program where your kids can learn. for the rest of us, we need a bloody break.

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