Thursday, August 13, 2020

DOE Death Panels


I'm getting a lot of email about reasonable accommodations this week. The DOE is finally responding to requests they got a month ago, and what people are really surprised about is that they're getting answers out before school starts.

There's so little reason in the world to begin with. Just for starters, I see young women everywhere wearing thinks that say PINK in big letters. Almost none of them are pink. I'm befuddled, of course. And it's not only young women. My principal, for example, is not a young woman at all, and he's always wearing a hat that says BROWN on it. The hat is black, though. 

With that sort of thing going on in the world, it's hard to expect the DOE to be reasonable. It's not, after all, what they're known for. How many times have you gone to Court St. only to find your transcripts are on the fourth floor, not the sixth, and you therefore have to resubmit them?

Reasonable at the DOE? Mayor de Blasio is jumping up and down, after having wasted April through July, and saying he's got a whole month to figure out how to open the schools safely. I'd argue, especially lately. that the DOE is known for precisely the opposite of being reasonable. I mean, who thinks it's a good idea for students to eat lunch together in a classroom during a pandemic when even talking is restricted? Not me. Not you. But DOE thinks it's the bestest thing ever

Then we come to the concept of reasonable accommodations. This is the notion that, if you have certain conditions, you may not wish to get sick and die from COVID. Over 65? Don't get it. Type 2 diabetes? Smoking? High blood pressure? Don't get COVID. Asthma? Also a bad idea, but I hear it depends upon how bad your asthma really is. The genius doctors at DOE, or whoever they have deciding these things, will say, oh, your asthma only comes up to HERE, but her asthma goes up to THERE. YOU smoke one pack a day, but this one smokes FIVE.

So it's okay for YOU to go in there and risk your life and those of your loved ones, but it's NOT okay for him to do it. I've been working for DOE around 36 years now, and it's very hard for me to understand exactly how they make decisions like these with such precision. And we know there's tangible risk, otherwise why would the city be offering all-remote instruction to anyone who asks for it? 

If I were rejected for reasonable accommodation by NYC, and I contracted COVID, I would go out and find a lawyer and sue the city from here to eternity. I've never sued anyone before. I had a few doctors who gave me very bad advice and I didn't sue them. But I would not hesitate to sue the city on this. In fact, I'm shocked that they muster the audacity to determine who is and is not worthy of accommodations, particularly when they're supported by medical statements. Are DOE doctors better than your doctor? If that's the case, my friend, it's time to find a new doctor. 

I'm further shocked by stories I hear about doctors giving people a hard time about writing statements. You'd hope that your doctor would place a very high priority on preserving your life and health. If that's not the case, you sorely need a new doctor. I've told several people that. My doctor, when I asked for a note, said absolutely, no problem. That's just one reason I'll continue to see her and rely on her.  

I know a lot of us are finally being notified about the accommodations we requested. If you are rejected by the DOE death panel, what you need to do is get your doctor to correct whatever language they deem lacking and resubmit. 

 Honestly, I don't know how these people sleep at night.

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