Seattle Schools Pick Homeless Camps Over Kids
Seattle Schools Pick Homeless Camps Over Kids
As if parents in the Seattle Public Schools didn’t have enough on their plates, they now have to acknowledge that the school board really does not care about their children.
If they did, then the school board would have demanded the immediate removal of two homeless camps right next to two schools. Any reasonable person could see that this might be a safety issue. The Seattle school board is not made up of reasonable people.
What they do have are super-peak-woke people like Chandra Hampson, the school board president. Hampson, along with fellow board member Zachary DeWolf, insisted to the city of Seattle that the two homeless tent camps, which are on or adjoining the campuses of Meany Middle School and Broadview-Thomson K-8, be allowed to remain in place, even as the students were set to return to in-person instruction.
In emails obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, Seattle School Board President Chandra Hampson and Director Zachary DeWolf stopped tried to stop Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office from sweeping encampments near Meany Middle School on Capitol Hill, and at Broadview Thomson K-8 in Bitter Lake.”
Hampson demanded sweeps “never” occur in the city, including on school grounds. DeWolf empathically emailed the city, “this is not an ask for a sweep!”
While encampments have been seldom cleared by the City of Seattle during the pandemic, the mayor’s office had grown increasingly concerned with the deteriorating situation near both schools ahead of their reopening. Inslee ordered schools at least partially reopened with hybrid in-person learning for grades K-6 by April 5.”
In mid-march, a librarian and parent with the Seattle Public School district grew alarmed at the growing encampment at Miller Park on Capitol Hill, steps from the Meany Middle School campus. But the tents did not stay at the park. They now line the entrance to the school’s gym.”
“Being a parent of a middle schooler and an employee who regularly walks by this to enter Meany, I am concerned for student safety,” the staffer wrote to the school board on March 18. “Middle school students coming from the south will walk through the encampment to get to school. If it is there when school starts, can the district provide extra adult supervision, before, during, and after school to ensure student safety?”
Yes, this is as bad as you think it is.
And when parents directly complained to Hampson, she exploded on Facebook, even to the point of deleting comments that she didn’t like. Ironically, that may have been a violation of law – you know, the law that the left celebrated when the courts ruled that President Trump couldn’t block people on Twitter. Amazingly, the law swings both ways, which means a public figure like Hampson, using a public forum (Facebook) with a public page (her own “politician” designated Facebook page for her Seattle Public Schools board president position) was likely violating the law when she started deleting comments. Her solution when this was pointed out was to simply take the entire page down.
So parents appealed directly to the city of Seattle. Unfortunately, the mayor is still Jenny Durkan, who is the lamest of lame ducks after watching her political career evaporate during the “summer of love” last year that saw the creation of the CHAZ/CHOP area, the near-takeover of a police precinct, the murder of two young black men, a so-called “warlord” handing out guns from the trunk of his car, the resignation of the police chief, and the eventual clearing of the area after the political pressure and embarrassment became too much. Jenny Durkan simply has no political will or clout to fight the Seattle school board over homeless camps. With kids on spring break this week, the city knows it needs to have answers for parents. The compromise? Well, the city will clear ONE camp. Miller Park, which is next to Meany Middle School, is technically city property, so they will clear that camp.
The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH has learned that a sweep of the camp could happen as early as Friday, with the intention of having all campers either relocated to an available shelter space or voluntarily moved by the time students return to school next Monday. A notice will also be posted on Wednesday warning anyone onsite that “any remaining belongings will be removed as there are many abandoned items and tents.”
City outreach workers say that “all residents of Miller Park have been offered shelter” as of this week. That includes space at the city’s low-barrier Navigation Center enhanced shelter, Jan & Peter’s Place Women’s Shelter, the Executive Hotel Pacific, and “occasional availability at tiny home villages.”
“The City has shelter, with wraparound services like case management, available for every person who has been living onsite, long-term,” a written release from Durkan’s office said.”
But the other camp, next to Broadview-Thomson K-8? Nope! That’s district property and the city can’t clear anyone without the school district’s permission – which they clearly won’t give. So, how will they keep young kids safe? Just have them walk to the main door and don’t use any of the other doors!
Sort of baffled that the short-term(?) solution for the homeless camp at Broadview Thomson K-8 is to just make the little kids and teachers use the door furthest away from the tents.
How did we get here, Seattle? pic.twitter.com/RT9b5w94Dv
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) April 15, 2021
The kids will be returning to school on Monday, and this is as far as the district is willing to bend.
The encampment composed of roughly 40 tents is situated on an adjacent property directly behind Broadview-Thomson K-8, just north of Seattle’s Bitter Lake neighborhood.”
According to Seattle Public Schools, the camp “is not on school grounds, but on district property that is separated from the school with a secure fence.” Given its proximity to the school, students, families, and staffs are being asked to enter and exit facilities from a separate entrance along Greenwood Avenue.”
A gate separating the encampment from the school has also been locked, and will remain that way “for the time being.”
Yeah, I am sure that the homeless and their camp will be completely willing to keep to their side of the locked gate.
The obvious question that any reasonable person is asking is “what will it take for the Seattle school board to have the city move the camp?” The answer is “bad press.” The second a child is injured, a teacher attacked, or some other dangerous action happens that results in either national negative press, or an expensive liability lawsuit, THEN the school board will jump to clean up their act. Which pretty much proves just how much value they put on the students in their care.
Yes, people – especially families – are leaving Seattle and its school system. But some never will. The kids who remain deserve a safe environment for school, unlittered by homeless tents. But until one of those gets gets hurt, or the district is forced to pay a financial penalty, their “woke” sense will override their common sense.
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