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In our most recent CB1 meeting, Tricia Joyce started her speech saying “We built it and they came…”.
We invested our dreams, our finances, and our futures in building a community in downtown after 9/11, when even the biggest companies were shipping off their headquarters to Jersey City and other locations. The BPC families believed that we could re-build downtown, believed we could have a true community to raise our families, to offer an inclusive environment where our children would develop relationships, would live, and of course would attend school.
Seven years ago, my husband and I planned to move to BPC, we did our homework, moved in to a rental and looked around to make sure we were making the right decision for our family. We bought an unit in BPC, we got married and had our son Dylan.
We’ve been living in the neighborhood since, we’ve been following closely the construction and development of PS 276, a block away from our house, and every time we passed by we showed Dylan the building that would be his school when he turns 5.
So it was a shock to us, when we applied for 2013 K in PS 276 school, that we were sent to waitlist, number 40 out of 41 to be exact.
How can you tell a 5 year old, that the school he calls his, is no longer? That simply there’s no space for him in his neighbourhood? How can we as a community tell to close to 150 kids that there’s no place for them?
I refuse to do that to my son. I refuse to do that to his friends. I refuse to take NO for an answer.
It is clear that the city has failed the community, has failed our families, and has failed our children in offering them a seat in their neighborhood school.
After doing some research in the local papers, we have seen that this is not a new issue. There are articles from 2011 and, 2012, that if you change the date, describe the exact same situation that we are going through now in 2013, except that the number of displaced children are growing.
In past years, there have been “Band-Aid solutions” that are no longer acceptable. We cannot allow the city to just ship the children to the neighbouring districts. They are also overcrowded. The city cannot inconvenience a whole community by adding hours in travel-commute times for working parents to pick up their children in other districts. The city needs to step up and find our children a desk in the neighbourhood schools we all call home.
Please, visit change.org and sign our petition to the city to keep our children in a Kindergarten classroom in BPC for 2013 school year!