July 20, 2009 (GBN News): Declaring that “Schools are for children”, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that effective this September, parents will be banned from all NY City public school buildings. At a City Hall news conference, the Mayor told reporters that children should be able to learn without distractions, and thus parents will only be allowed to enter the buildings after school hours, and then only in designated areas for PTA functions such as bake sales.
While he justified the new restrictions as essential to children’s learning, sources with knowledge of the Mayor’s thinking told an entirely different story. Mr. Bloomberg, they said, is certain that public school parents are behind the Senate gridlock which has stalled renewal of Mayoral control of the schools. “The Senators who oppose us can’t be that stupid on their own,” the Mayor was said to have told his aides. “They must be listening to those parents. Parents are trying to disrupt the schools. That’s why I said democracy has to stop. We can’t have the voters telling their representatives what to do.”
Some political observers said that the timing of the parent ban could overshadow Mr. Bloomberg’s rumored upcoming announcement that, as a cost saving measure, he will cancel this November’s Mayoral election and declare himself the winner. Others, however, contend that the two measures were intended to go hand in hand, and that by sowing suspicion of the democratic process, the Mayor can blunt much of the potential opposition to the cancellation of the election.
In a related story, a City Hall spokesperson tried to explain that Mayor Bloomberg misspoke when he appeared to compare the State Senate with the Nazis. The Mayor had been strongly criticized after he seemed to indicate that negotiating with the Senate was akin to Neville Chamberlain appeasing Hitler. “The Mayor actually was referring to New York Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain, not Neville,” the aide said. “He was merely making the point that you can’t negotiate with the Red Sox.”