M.S. 194 parents protest Department of Education's suspension program

Parents of students at M.S. 194 are upset over a new program to bring troubled kids to the school.

Protesters stood in the rain Wednesday to show their disapproval of the Department of Education's alternate suspension program. As part of the program, troubled students ages 12 to 18 who have been suspended from surrounding schools are taken to M.S.194 to classrooms designated for the program.

The problem is that the program's classes are right near the kindergarten classes, which has parents worried. One parent says the suspended students bring more safety and disciplinary problems to the school.

Parents say the school already has enough problems including a lack of crossing guards and poor security.

What some parents would like to see happen is have the suspended students sent to a place where they could get counseling. They say the rooms being used to house the students could have been used for ESL programs or to alleviate overcrowding.

So far, a number of parents have signed a petition to stop the program. They are hoping to have 500 signatures by the end of the week and take them to the Department of Education.

The Department of Education says M.S. 194 has the space to house extra students and that it's not the only school to do so. It also says the students will not pose a problem to the other kids, but will look into the parents' concerns.

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