NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied New York City public school employees’ request for emergency injunction against Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s vaccine mandate.
She did not issue any explanation for her decision.READ MORE: New York City Public School Sports Teams May Allow Spectators
Thursday, Rachel Maniscalco and three other school workers filed an emergency petition asking Sotomayor to stop the mandate.
“I think the mayor needs to understand that we all feel very much betrayed,” Maniscalco said.
She said it isn’t right that educators are being treated differently than other city workers.
“Do you worry at any point that parents won’t want their child in your class because you’re not vaccinated?” CBS2 asked.
“I haven’t come across any parents who feel that way,” Maniscalco said.
But parents CBS2’s John Dias spoke with said they would take issue with that.
“I would feel unsafe,” said parent Victor Woods.
“The COVID is dangerous, and the kids are all here all day,” said another parent.
An attorney for the school employees issued a statement in response to Friday’s decision, saying he was disappointed and adding, “The voices of our teachers deserved to be heard. Vaccine mandates for adults has not been argued before the Court in over a century… The public school system, like the rest of the city, will be tragically degraded by these mayoral decisions.”
The mayor reacted on Twitter saying, “Nothing is more important than the safety of our [New York City schools] staff, faculty, and students. Thank you to the Supreme Court for standing with us to protect our [New York City schools] community from [COVID-19].”
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Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city had to issue the mandate, especially with no virtual learning option this year.
“A lot of people would have held back, and our schools would have been less safe,” de Blasio said. “Mandates work. They make us safer. I would urge every mayor in America – do it now, get those vaccine mandates in place ahead of the cold weather.”
As CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer reports, city officials are confident that classes for the city’s 1 million students will go off without a hitch on Monday because they’ve lined up an army of fully vaccinated substitute teachers and paraprofessionals to fill any gaps caused by still-reluctant educators.READ MORE: Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots Greenlighted By CDC
“We have thousands and thousands of high-quality substitute teachers, especially young folks who’ve come out of schools of education. They’re looking to get into our schools system permanently,” de Blasio said.
It was both a statement of fact and a warning to school employees trying to find some way around the city’s strict vaccine mandate: you can and will be replaced, and in-person classes will go on without a hiccup if you don’t get the shot.
According to the mayor’s office, 90% of public school staff are vaccinated, and there are thousands of substitutes ready to fill in just in case.
That leaves 14,800 staffers that have not been vaccinated.
The Department of Education said 93% of teachers are vaccinated, leaving 5,400 still needing the shot, and 98% of principals are vaccinated, 32 are not.
Watch Marcia Kramer’s report —
Nine thousand vaccinated substitute teachers and 5,000 paraprofessionals are on standby, ready to be deployed to any school that needs them, according to the Department of Education.
“They’re vaccinated, they’re ready, they’re really pumped up to have the opportunity,” de Blasio said.
Although the deadline for getting vaccinated was 5 p.m. Friday, officials say that if any teacher or school employee gets the shot over the weekend, they can still report for duty Monday morning.
“We want them with their students. We want them with our babies. That is what we all want,” schools Chancellor Meisha Porter said.
Support has been building for those who are still refusing.
“A lot of teachers have been in their career for years, and to make that mandate and them possibly lose their job if they decide not to want to do it, I don’t think that’s right” said parent Elexis Ortiz.
Ortiz, a mother of two, is taking the side of teachers who plan on not getting vaccinated, saying all school workers have been heroes through the pandemic.
“They risk their selves every day by going to work, so I didn’t feel like you should tell anybody what to do,” Ortiz said.
During the last few hours before the deadline, many showed their support for those holding out.
“Some people have their own reasons or beliefs,” one person said. “As long as they’re wearing a mask.”MORE NEWS: Mayor De Blasio Doubles Down On Municipal Workers Vaccine Mandate: 'We Have Contingency Plans In Place'
CBS2’s John Dias contributed to this report. Editor’s note: This story was first published Oct. 1.