“This is a great day for the city of Paterson. Our schools are reopened; our staff are all back in this week,” said Eileen Shafer, Superintendent of Paterson Public Schools. And next week, the doors will open to about 1,000 students. But the moment is not without controversy between the teachers union — the Paterson Education Association — and the district.
John McEntee of the Paterson Education Association, said, “No one wants to open schools more than our teachers, secretaries, guidance counselors, but how could you … even expect students to come back knowing they could potentially be exposed to mold, inoperable HVAC systems, cockroaches, toilet bowls with disgusting rust all throughout. It looks as if the schools hadn’t been touched in 15 months and that’s really what it boils down to.”