At least six public elementary schools in New York City will use their gymnasiums to temporarily house migrants who flooded into the city from the southern border, according to a report.
The six schools set to host migrants are all in Brooklyn, the New York Post reported Monday. Adult migrants began to arrive on Sunday at the PS 188 gym in Coney Island, the report said, and at least five more are preparing to do the same: PS 17, PS 18, PS 132, PS 172 and PS 189.
MS 577, a middle prep school, will also host migrants in the gym it shares with PS 17. The two schools placed cots in the gym Monday in preparation to host busloads of migrants as early as Tuesday, according to the report. Parents claimed the school will be locked down with no recess or physical education because the gym is adjacent to the outdoor playground.
‘These kids just came through COVID, and now they’re being locked inside the classroom,’ Virginia Vu, a PTA member and parent at MS 577, told The Post. ‘To bus people to our school and expect the community to absorb them is just insane.’
The wave of migrants hosted by schools in the city comes less than one week after the expiration of the Title 42 policy that allowed border agents to turn away migrants at the border in order to prevent the spread of COVID.
Damaris Fernandez, a parent of students at MS 577 and PS 17, said the housing for migrants is a security issue.
‘Parents have to sign in and provide ID when they go into school — now there’s migrants in the playground,’ Fernandez told The Post. ‘My phone has been going crazy with angry parents. Nobody agrees with what’s happened.’
Gabriela Vizhnay, a parent of a student at PS 172, said she ‘almost cried’ when she heard the gym would host migrants.
‘These elementary kids are being sacrificed over something that can be done somewhere else,’ Vizhnay told The Post. ‘You’re sacrificing kids. The future of this county.’
The New York City Education Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.