Syracuse teachers facing many obstacles in first two weeks of school


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Welcoming students back into the classroom full-time was exciting and nerve-wracking for most Syracuse teachers, but the obstacles they’ve faced in the first two weeks have been more than just COVID-19. 

“Behaviors were definitely going to be escalated,” Syracuse Teachers Association President Nicole Capsello said. “As you know they haven’t had to be in a structured setting following rules and complying with things, so I think everybody knew that was going to be challenging to begin with.” 

The school year is off to a rockier start than most could have imagined. A chaotic day ensued at Henninger High School Wednesday when multiple fights broke out and teachers uncovered many construction-related issues including doors without locks on them, security cameras not working and fire alarms without covers on them. 

This led to students being asked to stay home Thursday and when they returned Friday a fire was started in the bathroom and students were sent home early. 

“I think everybody right now is feeling a little defeated. But I will say that this is not just a one-building issue, it’s not just a one-school district issue…but it is a societal issue,” Capsello said. 

She believes the recent uptick in youth violence in our community and the staffing shortages across all positions, from custodians to food service workers to teachers and administrators is contributing to the rise in obstacles.

“We definitely need more adults to be able to come in and help alleviate,” she said.

Capsello believes the teachers she represents need more support. 

“I think clear communication across all parties involved and a partnership with our community is really what’s going to get to the heart of things,” she said.

Because it takes a village to not only raise but educate a child. 

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