Chalkbeat reports that at least 40 NewYork City educators have died because of the coronavirus but the Department of Education refuses to release their names or to explain their reticence.

Christina Veiga writes:

Rosario Gonzalez, a 91-year-old paraprofessional who cared tenderly for children in an East Harlem special education program, rarely missed a day of work in more than three decades.

Claudia Shirley continued to teach in Bushwick even after retiring, and loved her job so much that she inspired her two daughters to become educators themselves.

Carol King-Grant, a special education teacher in the South Bronx, was known for her love of sudoku and beautiful singing voice.

All died in recent weeks from suspected cases of the coronavirus, according to the United Federation of Teachers. The union announced that, as of Friday, it knew of more than 40 of its members presumed to have been claimed by the pandemic, including both active educators and retirees.

The union is naming names, and releasing a tally of the lives lost at a time that the education department has refused to do so. The department’s silence has sparked an uproar among teachers, who feel the lack of recognition is a smack in the face, particularly as they continued to report for work even after the danger of COVID-19 was The education department has kept mum on the number of cases within its ranks even as other public agencies, including the police department and transportation authority, have released figures. However, the education department stopped confirming cases as community spread became rampant and the health department told New Yorkers to assume they have been exposed.

“We understand there is a lot of uncertainty across the City surrounding COVID-19,” education department spokesperson Miranda Barbot told Chalkbeat on April 2. “School employees are sometimes reporting information to their principals and superintendents, and we are determining how best to collect this information in one place.”

Teachers have demanded that the city publicly disclose deaths among their colleagues. In the absence of official information about the disease’s spread within school communities, teachers have taken it upon themselves to inform their co-workers of positive cases. They have blasted the city for keeping campuses open even as the number of sickened New Yorkers skyrocketed. well known.