The Department of Education sparked outrage in Midwood, announcing plans to place a Truancy Processing Center by Avenue M on Ocean Avenue.
A report by Brooklyn Scoop describes the anger expressed by local residents and businesspeople who fear that the presence of a truancy center will only lead to trouble.
Under the current operating practices set out by the DOE, truancy centers pick up kids caught outside of school, and usually send them back to the school they belong them to. If the truant student is found too far from their home school, they are sent to a truancy center like the one proposed for Ocean Avenue. From there, parents are called and required to pick up the student by 2 p.m. If no one comes to pick up the child, they are released into the neighborhood, a reality local Midwood residents do not wish to contend with.
“This is a serious quality of life issue for residents in that part of Midwood … The current location is clearly unacceptable and unfair to the community,” Councilman David G. Greenfield told Yeshiva World.
Elected political officials from Southern Brooklyn did meet with representatives of the DOE to voice their concerns.
“I appreciate the Department of Education sitting with the elected officials and representatives of Shaare Torah to discuss the recently opened truancy center,” said Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein. “They listened to our concerns and I am hopeful that working together, we will be able to come to a resolution that will be good for the community and for the Department of Education.”
Another major concern residents have expressed is that the proposed spot for the truancy center is a mere two doors down from an all girl private Jewish school.
“Whoever is making this decision has no idea what he’s doing!” Yitzi Gruen told Brooklyn Daily. “The city’s asking for chaos by putting these kids in a safe area and next door to a girl’s school.”