850 NYC Teachers Fired for Failing to Get COVID Vaccine

Nearly 2,000 New York City school employees have been terminated since the vaccine mandate took effect in Oct. 2021.

850 NYC Teachers Fired for Failing to Get COVID Vaccine

Photo: Andreas Prott, Adobe Stock

NEW YORK, N.Y. — The New York City Department of Education has fired 850 teachers and classroom aides for refusing to show proof they were vaccinated against COVID-19.

The latest round of firing brings the total to nearly 2,000 school employees terminated since the vaccine mandate took effect in Oct. 2021, reports The New York Post. Back in February, more than 1,000 workers who failed to comply with the city’s vaccine mandate were fired. 

About 1,300 DOE employees who took unpaid leave with benefits last year agreed to show proof of vaccination by Sept. 5 or be “deemed to have voluntarily resigned,” DOE officials told The Post. Of those employees, 450 got the shot by the deadline and are returning to their jobs. Those include 225 teachers and 135 paraprofessionals.

Some have voiced frustration that NYC Mayor Eric Adams has not lifted the vaccine mandate for city employees despite other cities and states doing so as the CDC has relaxed its guidelines for exposures and quarantining. In all, NYC has fired more than 2,700 municipal workers for not being fully vaccinated.

Rachelle Garcia, an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn who says she worked fully in person during the pandemic, told The Post that she took a leave of absence after the DOE denied her requests for a religious exemption.

“I really put my eggs in one basket, hoping and praying that at the last minute our mayor would turn everything around in time for me to go back to work,” said Garcia, who has been applying for jobs on Long Island.

The terminations also come amid an ongoing teacher shortage in the state of New York. The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) estimates the state will need more than 180,000 teachers in the next decade, according to Fox 11. Enrollment in the state’s teacher education programs has also dropped by 53% since 2009.

According to the New York State Education Department (NYSED), NYC is struggling with staffing in 17 subject areas, including special education and reading and literacy.

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

One response to “850 NYC Teachers Fired for Failing to Get COVID Vaccine”

  1. Ginette says:

    Clearly the NYCDOE does not have their priorities in order to provide the best education possible for their students when there is currently a severe crisis in the lack of teachers in the NYC schools .
    After the Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate has been lifted so teachers who received a letter notifying them to return to their teaching job (they were forced to leave for not taking the Covid Vaccine ) now facing resistance and not allowed in !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety HQ