Brooklyn parents worry for children’s safety as NYC plans to house migrants at school gym
Some Brooklyn parents are speaking out against New York City’s plan to house asylum seekers in schools.
City officials say migrants are set to stay in the stand-alone gym at P.S. 189 in Brooklyn.
The gym is in the middle of the school’s playground and just steps away from the main school building.
Parents are concerned that their kids will be playing around strangers.
Some parents also claim they were not informed of the decision ahead of time, with some saying they didn’t know about it until New 12’s report about it Monday morning.
School officials handed out a note at dismissal Monday afternoon to parents saying that several families and individuals will be utilizing the stand-alone gym on a short-term basis.
The note says, “This should not impact the school operations, nor will the families have access to any other part of the school where students and staff are."
However, parents still have a lot of questions, and they say they should have been consulted before the decision was made.
It’s not yet clear how many people will be staying at the gym and if it will include single adults, which parents say they are especially uncomfortable with. Another concern is whether there are enough bathrooms and showers for everyone.
“I come from an immigrant family, so I know what it is to come to America for help, but there's ways that you go about certain things. And when it comes to children, I feel like you cannot put two groups of people together,” one parent told News 12.
Some families say they love the school and its staff, but that they are considering pulling their kids out if they feel like their safety is at risk.
A group of parents are planning to protest the decision Tuesday morning.
The mayor's office issued a statement that said, "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. We will continue to communicate with local elected officials as we open more emergency sites."
The school gymnasium that was once shared by students at P.S. 17 and M.S. 577 is currently serving as a temporary home to migrants seeking asylum, according to the principal of M.S. 577.
Parents whose kids go to those schools are also planning to protest the city's decision on Tuesday.
News 12 reached out to the Department of Education for comment.
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