MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — With the new school year approaching and the Delta variant raging, CBS2 News has confirmed that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy does intend to require teachers to be vaccinated this school year.
An official announcement has not yet been made.READ MORE: CDC Backs Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots For Millions Of Seniors And Some Others
Thousands of parents in the Garden State are fighting for the option to let their kids continue learning from home.
After a year and a half of virtual or hybrid learning, many parents can’t wait to get their kids back in the classroom.
“Me and my wife, we are excited to send her back to school, and also she really misses her friends,” parent Jonathan Vasquez told CBS2’s Nick Caloway.
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Vasquez’s daughter, Isabella, is just as eager to return.
“Are you excited to be back in school?” Caloway asked.
“Yes,” Isabella said.
“Why?” Caloway asked.
“I love, I love math,” Isabella said.
Math is great, but the numbers don’t lie.
A new wave of coronavirus infections is rushing across New Jersey with the state topping 2,400 new cases for the first time since April.
Hospitalizations are on the rise, too.READ MORE: CDC Advisers Recommend Who Can Get Pfizer Booster Shots
All of that before the school year even begins.
“Mixed feelings, I think. I’m still a little nervous because they’re obviously not vaccinated yet,” parent Puja Doni said.
With uncertainty abounding, some parents say their kids desperately need the option to go back to school remotely.
Netania Zagorski’s oldest son is one of them.
“He’s autistic. He has really, really strong sensory issues. He can’t mask or socially distance. He licks things for fun,” she said.
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Earlier this month, the governor was clear that students will return in person with no remote learning option.
“We will not, no. They have to be in school,” Murphy said on Aug. 6.
So parents like Karen Strauss and Deanna Nye started a petition asking for the virtual option.
So far, more than 15,000 people have signed on.
“There are so many people that are worried about so many different things, so that’s why it took off so well. Because people are concerned. These are new times and things are so different now,” Strauss said.
Two weeks ago, the governor reversed his position on masks in schools. Only time will tell if he changes is mind on remote learning, too.
The petition is also asking the governor to meet with parents to discuss why remote learning is so crucial for some kids.MORE NEWS: FDA Approves Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Shot, But Confusion Still Reigns Over Who Can Get It And When
CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report.