RYE BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There is an update on a Westchester County school that was forced to close over safety issues.
Concerned parents demanded answers at a tense school board meeting on Tuesday night, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.
“I would like to know which one of you put my child in danger?” one parent asked.
Rye Brook parents demanded accountability and answers from the Board of Education.
“How long will this take? And, I’m sorry, ‘I don’t know’ is not acceptable anymore,” another parent said.
“I’m not gonna start engaging you. I’m done engaging you,” an official said.
“You’re not gonna engage with me? Then I think the committee should motion to fire you,” a parent responded.
Ridge Street Elementary School is in the middle of a massive renovation project. The building opened on Sept. 13 to students, while construction continued.
That was until the state education commissioner sent a letter closing the school Friday, saying the Blind Brook District was “using space for instruction without appropriate inspections and other approvals.”
The school board said its certificate of occupancy was pulled on Wednesday.
“We entered this school year thinking that we had a building that was ready to be opened. As it is clear, we did not,” Board of Education President Scott Jaffee said.
Violations revealed by the state include “non-functional alarm systems” and “non-functional sprinklers.”
The state said Blind Brook’s decision to open the school without approval showed “brazen, perhaps criminal disregard.”
“Either the fire alarm system works or it doesn’t work,” a parent said.
“No one put your kids in places that we were not permitted to do,” board member Ryan Goldstein said.
The school board said it has exhausted all options for temporary classrooms off campus. Students are back to remote learning in the interim.
“How long do you honestly think this is going to take to have our children back in school?” a parent asked.
The plan is to temporarily move some students to the middle and high school. The board hopes with upcoming inspections, the state will soon allow the district to reopen 28 classrooms.
“There will be accountability afterwards. Right now, we’re focusing on the kids,” Superintendent Dr. Patrick Brimstein said.
State inspectors are expected on site on Wednesday.