Crowd Jeers Bloomberg Along Queens Parade Route
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Paradegoers welcomed the sound of bagpipes Saturday at the annual Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade, but they were not as warm towards Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The mayor received a mixed reception from the thousands of people who lined the parade route in Rockaway.
Teachers and their supporters said they are upset about his plan to lay off 4,700 teachers and change the so-called "Last In, First Out" policy that gives veteran teachers seniority.
"With experience, you should be seen as a master teacher, and he's pitting young teachers against old teachers," said one Rockaway resident.
"You need to respect the teachers, we're number one, we're the one teaching our future. We need to be up there in his list and not cut," said another.
The mayor says teacher layoffs are necessary to close a massive budget gap.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the mayor said, "This is New York City, where people always have strong opinions either way and the mayor is making the hard decisions that have to be made."