Parents held a rally Tuesday to protest the city’s plan to house migrants at P.S. 172 on Fourth Avenue between 29th and 30th streets.
District 15 Superintendent Rafael Alvarez sent parents a letter Sunday telling them the school’s gym will be used temporarily to “house individuals and families who are seeking asylum.”
“This should not impact school operations, nor will the families have access to any other part of the school where students and staff are,” the letter said.
P.S. 172’s PTA said using schools as shelters “is not a safe or acceptable solution to the emergency influx of asylum-seekers.”
PTA Co-President Samantha Clark said the school lacks the space and infrastructure needed to deal with the situation. A change.org petition was created to make that case to Mayor Eric Adams.
“Mayor Adams is scrambling to solve a problem that is not solved by risking the safety of not only the students but also migrant families,” Clark told the New York Post.
Sunset Park isn’t the only southern Brooklyn neighborhood affected by the crisis. Approximately 75 migrants are living in the P.S. 188 gym in Coney Island, much to the dismay of parents and Community Board 13. The board found out Friday that the gym would be used as a shelter.
“Community Board 13 and the community it represents was given no advance notice of this action,” the board wrote on Facebook. “This is not acceptable. The community must be informed about this process and CB 13 should be part of that discussion.”
Adams said at a conference that the city is looking at 20 school gyms as possible landing spots for asylum-seekers.
“We have not made a final determination on all the gyms, but [those] we are looking at are separate from the actual school buildings,” Adams said. “They are independent from the school buildings.”