Earlier this week, the United Federation of Teachers ruffled some feathers when they told city public school teachers not to wear pro-NYPD t-shirts to school. Some teachers were put off by the UFT's no-NYPD gear mandate, but now both the mayor and the city schools chancellor say NYPD tees are a-ok.
The Post reports that both Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina have no problem with teachers showing support for the NYPD. "Every individual in our society has a right to make their own decision about how they want to express themselves. And every union has a right to communicate with their own members,” de Blasio told the tabloid. “I honor the NYPD every day … I think people appreciate the NYPD in this city. But as to how you should comport yourself at your workplace, and the individual choice you make, that’s up to the individual."
Initially, the UFT claimed pro-NYPD shirts violated a Department of Education directive that teachers "must remain objective at all times," issuing a memo warning teachers who wanted to wear pro-NYPD shirts on the first day of school. But Fariña says the shirts are fine, adding, "Common sense trumps all. This is one issue principals should decide on a school-by-school basis."
The teachers who wanted to wear the NYPD shirts were reportedly angry that UFT chief Michael Mulgrew visibly participated in last month's march against police brutality on Staten Island. The Rev. Al Sharpton-led march was sparked by the death of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold by a cop during an arrest.