‘Dangerous’ schools named

By Kelsey Durham

Three Queens institutions were among a slew of city public schools named as the most persistently dangerous schools in New York, according to the state Education Department.

The state agency released its findings last week that pinpointed the schools across New York that had the highest number of violent incidents reported over the last two years. Of the 36 schools that were newly designated this year as dangerous, 31 were located within the five boroughs — including PS 111 in Long Island City, PS 811 in Little Neck and PS 993 in Floral Park.

Brooklyn had the most number of new schools listed with 10, followed by the Bronx with nine, Manhattan with seven and two on Staten Island. The remaining five schools were in other cities across the state, including two in Buffalo, two in Syracuse and one in the Greenburgh Eleven Union Free School District in Westchester County.

The agency also released a report of 11 schools that remained on the list of persistently dangerous schools for the second year in a row, which included seven in Brooklyn, two in the Bronx and two outside the city.

Marge Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Education, said the agency puts the safety of students first and said that although crime in city schools has decreased over time, the city DOE is devoted to doing more to reduce these statistics.

“We have a steadfast commitment to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for all children in all of our schools, and every day we are working closely with teachers, administrators, law enforcement, parents and students to deliver on that commitment,” Feinberg said in a statement. “We know that different schools face different circumstances and challenges when it comes to safety and we consider each school’s unique needs as we develop solutions to ensure that all of our students feel safe.”

The state Education Department said in its report that all schools named as persistently dangerous are required to submit an incident reduction plan to the agency that outlines the steps the school plans to take to try and reduce violence in the building.

Schools cannot be removed from the list until a petition, submitted to the commissioner of education by the school superintendent, is approved by the state Education Department.

The school must also show through data that violent incidents within the building have decreased and pass a walkthrough from the state agency before being removed from the list of most dangerous schools, according to the state Education Department’s website.

The department compiled a list of 23 schools that were recommended last week for removal from the group of most dangerous, and 17 of those were in New York City. Two Queens schools — MS 53 in Far Rockaway and JHS 8 in Jamaica — were recommended for removal after being designated as two of the state’s most dangerous schools in the previous year.

Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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