Last Updated on February 16, 2023
The fingerprints of unvaccinated New York City teachers were reportedly sent to the FBI with “problem code” flags, according to attorneys representing teachers who are suing the city over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. If true, teachers who lost their jobs over the mandate now have a flag that comes up in their file that could cost them future employment.
“When the city puts these problem codes on employees who have been terminated because of their unconstitutional policies, not only do they have this flag in their files, but their fingerprints are sent with that flag to the FBI and the New York Criminal Justice Services, so it impacts their ongoing ability to get employment at other places,” John Bursch, an attorney representing fired teachers, said in a February 8 statement.
Rachelle Garcia, a former New York City teacher who was fired over her refusal to take a COVID-19 vaccine, discussed the “infuriating” allegations during an interview with Fox News.
“This is both outrageous and infuriating because my first question to the government or whatever, is basically, what did I do? What kind of criminal activity did I participate besides denying something that I felt that was right for me?” Garcia said. “Religiously, mentally, I just didn’t want anything experimental on my body, so what criminal activity does that persist?”
Garcia taught in Brooklyn for 15 years before she was terminated for refusing the vaccine. The veteran NYC teacher had filed for a religious exemption, but her request was denied.
Earlier this month, investigative journalist Betsy Combier wrote an affidavit uncovering how the Education Department was allegedly able to “flag” certain teachers without due process or oversight.
“I found out that the DOE has right now an agency called the Office of Personnel Investigation, and what they do is they have employees of the DOE who, forgive me, call themselves investigators, but they’re not,” Combier said. “So they work for OPI, and when they get an accusation from anybody, it doesn’t matter who, well, the principals send it to them, but the original complaint against somebody could be made by anybody that this employee, that employee did something wrong.”
“Then they start putting the code on the file, and I think that that’s outrageous, like Rachel said, because no one is told why it’s there, what they did, and in most times, in my experience, the person did nothing wrong,” she continued.
Combier alleges that NYC teachers who did not have a “valid vaccination code” were flagged with a “problem code” that was then forwarded to the FBI and DOJ.
Michael Kane, who leads Teachers for Choice and is part of the lawsuit against the city, demanded an investigation into the disturbing allegations. “We need an investigation,” Kane said. “I’m talking right now to members of the Common Sense Caucus in city hall. They are outraged by this, and we will be calling on Mayor Eric Adams in New York City to investigate this thoroughly.”
Kane went on to say that the state has not yet addressed the allegations and has yet to respond to the affidavit. “This has now been stated in open court,” Kane said. “It’s been viewed millions of times around the world. Now, we’ve heard nothing come out of New York City. So… put up or shut up. Tell us what’s going on. Otherwise, we have to assume this is true and investigate.”