Schools stay open for now! Public School Antique Doorknob. Image Credit: Warzsee

Opinion: Sam Pirozzolo Calls For IMMEDIATE NYC Public School Shutdown

March 13, 2020

I am calling for an immediate shutdown of NYC Public Schools.

As a former Community Education Council President for Staten Island I have helped guide parents and the Department of Education through some difficult times. None probably more notable than the PCB problem we had on Staten Island and in many city schools.

Schools stay open for now! Public School Antique Doorknob. Image Credit: Warzsee

Schools stay open for now! Public School Antique Doorknob. Image Credit: Warzsee


Now, with the Coronavirus, just like then, the Mayor and the Chancellor are dragging their feet and not acting in the best interests of our students, our parents, our teachers, and our school staff. It is simple to understand the fear our teachers have; basically, they are just like fish in a barrel, waiting for the Coronavirus to come to them. It’s not if our schools and staff begin to become infected – the infections have already begun.

If we allow the Coronavirus to get a foothold in our schools then surely the virus will spread from student to student to teacher to administrator and throughout the city within days and weeks. Our healthcare centers may be overrun with asymptomatic patients. Closing our schools now may help keep our children and families safer and reduce future burdens on our healthcare facilities. In the end, while I do believe that fear will be our greatest adversary, I believe that our schools should be closed.

If the mayor and chancellor wish to choose some school locations to remain open to operate as health centers for students, so be it, but to put an entire school system at risk for any other reason is senseless.

The governor and the mayor have already said that “Social Distancing” is a way to fight the spread of the Coronavirus and have put an end to all gatherings of over 500 people. Last time I checked, most NYC schools have more than 500 people. Why are our students, teachers, and parents being treated with such disregard?

Sam T. Pirozzolo

Vice President NYC Parents Union

Sam Pirozzolo

Sam Pirozzolo is a native Staten Islander. He is a frequent contributor to the Staten Islander, and is well-known and loved by people on both the Right and Left, in his North Shore community. Sam brings people together, instead of dividing, by speaking common sense and analyzing our island, and city's, issues, with intelligence and concern for all. He and his wife just celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary and have two beautiful children who attended both public schools and were home-schooled. Sam is running to be your City Councilman to succeed Steven Matteo. Councilman Matteo has done a fantastic job for District 50 and accomplished much for all of Staten Island. It is Sam’s goal to build upon Steve’s successes and try to bring common sense back into NYC politics.


  • Avatar Anon in 10314 says:

    I mean, how is this not obvious?

    Kids are packed 30 or 40 in a room.

    Sneezing. Coughing. Touching their faces. Then everything else.

    How is this not the perfect incubator for Covid-19 to spread??????

    Thank you, Mr. Pirozzolo for saying what we all feel.

    • Avatar strongly disagree says:

      Don’t speak for me,bub. I don’t agree with either of you. Kids need to get strong and you get strong by building up their immune system. The only way to do that is coming in contact with germs. That’s why kids today are allergic to everything. And why they can’t do anything without you holding their hand. They need to get sick, recover, get stronger.

      I’ve been alive almost 7 decades now. I don’t know a single person who ever died from the flu. My suggestion is to not overeat. Don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Take a walk every day. And be happy.

      Don’t worry too much over this. It isn’t going to be the end of the world. It probably is best to do what you feel regarding your own children but that’s my opinion

  • Avatar Mikhail says:


    OK his logic is kids will be running in the streets with parents at work but think about every half day and day off the parents have to figure something out so this is just very weak excuse.

    • Avatar ☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤☤ says:

      No it’s that children will need parents to stay home and those parents may be nurses or doctors or EMS.

  • Avatar Frank Martinelli says:

    This whole thing is overblown. Why don’t we all just hibernate through the winter? Flu season you know. I don’t get my flu shot and I don’t get the flu. But some people get sick. Some people even die. But I never saw life stopping like this. In all my life. Explain why this is so different. I think it’s just overhyped. On the other hand if it isn’t then the real question is why don’t they do more to stop the flu? Why not be extra careful every winter?

    CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million – 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.

  • Avatar Anon in 10314 says:

    The real reason has to do with funding. Ask any teacher. They used to keep the schools open even in blizzards for this reason.

    So they will jeopardize students and teachers and for what?

    The attendance rate is plummeting!

    I don’t know what to think about this whole thing

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