LAWRENCE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Parents in Nassau County were furious Tuesday night, upon learning that due to damage from Superstorm Sandy more than two months ago, thousands of students will be moved to new schools later this week.
As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported, frustrated parents packed the auditorium at Lawrence Middle School to confront the school superintendent.
“Jade is going to be devastated,” one woman said. “What, is she going to play with high schoolers?”
The parents wanted to know why they just found out at 4 p.m. Tuesday that thousands of kids will be moved to new schools as of Thursday. The reason is all due to damage from Sandy back in October.
“It’s ridiculous,” a parent said, “and you can’t give us any straight answers.”
Lawrence Free Union District Superintendent Gary Schall defended the move, saying the district just got the preliminary engineer reports Tuesday. Those reports revealed major damage to the high school’s electrical system.
“That is enough for me to act swiftly and quickly,” Schall said. Concerns involve “the power going down; we’re talking perhaps about a disabled child stuck in an elevator, or in the worst case scenario, if there was any sort of fire in the school caused by anything.”
The relocation plan goes as follows: all students at Lawrence Public High School in Cedarhurst — which was shut down effective Tuesday — will be relocated to the Middle School as of Thursday, sharing with seventh and eighth graders.
In order to protect the younger fifth and sixth graders, the sixth graders will move from the middle school to the Number Two School, and all fifth graders will be relocated to the Number Five School.
Some parents said they worry their seventh and eighth graders will be bullied by high school students.
“There’s a big difference between a 12th grader and a seventh grader,” a parent said. “A big difference.”
“My son doesn’t need this – I don’t think any child, you know, and they’re shipping a thousand kids here and taking 450 out,” another said.
The superintendent said the renovations at Lawrence High School will take about two months.
Bus transportation will be provided as usual. Drop-offs will be at the new temporary locations.
There will be two more informational meetings at the middle school, on Wednesday at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Do you think there are big problems with this plan? Leave your comments below…