Brooklyn parents protest housing migrants inside school gyms
Frustrated parents protested outside several schools across Brooklyn Tuesday in the wake of the city’s decision to house asylum seekers inside of select school gyms.
With over 4,000 migrants coming to the city just last week, officials have opened more than 140 emergency shelters to house them. Over 65,000 asylum seekers have made their way to the city since last August. Some parents are adamant, and say opening a shelter at the gym is not the answer.
Parents of P.S. 17 in Brooklyn rallied outside of the school, urging Mayor Eric Adams to reconsider the move after they learned of it on Mother's Day.
Hours later, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Councilwoman Jennifer Gutierrez toured the P.S. 17 facility for the first time. Reynoso stated that while this site is not ideal for this crisis, it has to be used due to a lack of space in shelters. He added that migrants would receive toiletries, air conditioning, and bathroom access at the school's gym, and that it would hold 70 cots.
The school held a virtual forum on Tuesday night where concerned parents expressed their worries about the new migrant shelter setup.
Parents say they're ready to continue rallying outside each morning and plan to stage a walkout of the school on Friday and even started a petition against the use of the gym for asylum seekers.
A City Hall spokesperson issued a statement saying in part, "We are opening emergency shelters and respite centers daily, but we are out of space. As the mayor has said, nothing is off the table as we work to fill our moral mandate, but we should all expect this crisis to affect every city service."
Other school gymnasiums planned to be used as shelters include P.S. 189, P.S. 172 and M.S. 577.