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Brooklyn students fear commuting to school as many children stay home a day after shooting

Schools in South Brooklyn, which were closed after Tuesday’s subway attack, were back in business on Wednesday – but attendance at some had plummeted as worried students opted to go home.

“People were nervous. Not a lot of people came to school today,” said Areli, a student at the John Jay School for Law in District 15, which also includes Park Slope and Sunset Park. “It was just quiet.”

School attendance rates had plummeted at many schools near Wednesday’s subway attack that injured 29, including Sunset Park High School and PS 371, where only 39% attended — less than half the rate of the last school year with 77%, according to DOE data.

That number was 55% at PS 371, compared to 73% last year. At the John Jay School for Law it was 67%.

“We could have been on that train that morning,” Areli said. “It could have been us, or one of my friends, or people I know in general.”

The 17-year-old opted to walk 30 minutes home on Tuesday rather than take the train and took the bus to school the next day. She said she feels safe at school but has concerns outside of the four walls.

Students at Sunset Park High School on April 12, 2022.
Students at Sunset Park High School on April 12, 2022.
Gabriella Bass

Other children in the area echoed their concerns about the commute.

“I didn’t see a lot of kids at school today,” said Lesly, a junior at Millennium Brooklyn in Park Slope, though she added that there wasn’t as much absenteeism there as she’d thought.

“Honestly, taking the train was nerve-wracking,” she said. “I kept looking around. I was more aware than usual.”

Only 39% of the students attended Sunset Park High School the day after the shooting.
Only 39% of the students attended Sunset Park High School the day after the shooting.
Gabriella Bass

Vincent Lu, Sunset Park’s parent, who sits on the district’s Community Education Council, an advisory body made up mostly of parents, was overall impressed with his family’s school’s response.

He said there was “room for improvement” but would like to see more collaboration with other city authorities.

“I don’t think this can be done by schools alone,” Lu said.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/13/brooklyn-students-fear-school-commutes-as-many-kids-stay-home-day-after-shooting/ Brooklyn students fear commuting to school as many children stay home a day after shooting

JACLYN DIAZ

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