Another month and another safety incident hits the press in the building where I used to work that now houses four small schools. At least in the press report they are admitting this time that it was the former Jamaica High School without naming the actual school instead of saying it happened at Jamaica High School. Last month it was intruders and now it's pepper spray at what most likely was Queens Collegiate as it is the only school of the small schools at the Jamaica Campus that has 11 year old pupils.
Since twelve students were taken to the hospital because of the pepper spray occurrence and the building was evacuated by NYPD and FDNY, where are the calls saying that this is an unsafe campus whose schools need to be shut down or reorganized?
Maybe having one school in the building called Jamaica High School with an excellent team of Deans including Marc Epstein and Miriam Rosenthal working with Assistant Principal for Security Fran Russo was not such a bad way to run the building. That's how it was done when it was Jamaica High School just a few short years ago.
A few blocks away at Hillcrest High School, a school with a similar student population as Jamaica's campus, there is a fine group of Deans that keeps the school under control. I know as I worked at Hillcrest as an Absent Teacher Reserve in November and early December.
Perhaps Bill Gates was right (for a change) that breaking up big high schools into smaller ones doesn't actually work. The problem is there is a great deal of collateral damage in terms of lives that have been impacted because of the process.