Principals Rip NYC DOE for Supplying Schools with ‘Cheap Black-Market” PPE

The Bayard Rustin Educational Complex. Photo Credit:

By: Hadassa Kalatizadeh

NYC principals are fuming at the quality of Personal Protective Equipment which the Department of Education has supplied them with.  One Queens principal contacted the NY Post to gripe that they were given nonfunctioning thermometers, “low quality” masks, and smelly wipes.  “The s—t they gave us won’t protect us — not the students, teachers or parents,” said the school leader, who asked for anonymity, fearful of repercussions. “Every principal in NYC is banging their head against the wall.”

As per the Post, she said the “cheap, black-market [email protected]” includes touchless, electronic thermometers that somehow reported temperatures of 40, 50 and 60 degrees upon trials. “You’d be dead,” she said. “We keep taking each other’s temperatures like we’re clowns.”

She said the DOE sent the school two dozen thermometers, which did not even include batteries.  She said she spent close to $300 of her own money on batteries, only to find out the devices were defective.  “Why are they spending millions on black-market thermometers with no name brand?” the principal asked fuming. “These are supposed to keep us safe?”

“I really believe this is black-market items from China bought in bulk — hundreds of handheld thermometers we’ll be throwing in the garbage,” said the disgusted educator.   She said that after the DOE was informed that the thermometers were faulty, the department installed electric thermometers on the walls of the lobby to check students as they enter.

The principal also complained about the disinfectant wipes the school received from the DOE.    A different principal from Brooklyn also agreed.  “The wipes are cheap, smelly and sticky,” he said.  He said his thermometers also came without batteries, which the DOE said they would provide, adding that the thermometers “have to be calibrated.”  He also said the masks they received are “the cheapest, lowest-quality type.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio played a video during a press conference boasting how the DOE had ordered 4 million face masks, 3.5 million bottles of hand sanitizer and 80,000 canisters of disinfectant wipes, to thwart the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DOE commented in a response saying, that the masks sent are “medical grade,” and that the batteries for thermometers were shipped separately. The spokeswoman added that, if a thermometer is reading “too low” then it is not being used properly, and the school nurse could provide training.