Parents of Middle Village charter school plan rallies in attempt to keep school open

Photo by Angela Matua/QNS

The parents of Middle Village Preparatory Charter School (MVP) will not let the school go down without a fight.

Hoping to convince the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens to drop the lawsuit against Christ the King High School and its board of trustees that would require the secular charter school on its campus to close, parents of MVP students are planning to hold a pair of rallies in June, one outside the diocese’s office in Brooklyn and another outside of the Queens County Court in Jamaica.

The first rally is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, June 7, where parents, and students of MVP — with properly filled out permission slips — will rally outside of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens office at 310 Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

Buses will pick up participants at approximately 9 a.m. on the morning of the rally at MVP, located at 68-02 Metropolitan Ave. Buses will also return all participants from the diocese offices. More details on the bus information will be made available in the coming days.

The second rally is set to bring parents and students to the steps of the Queens County Court located at 88-11 Sutphin Blvd. in Jamaica, on Tuesday, June 13 — the day the court is expected to hear oral arguments regarding the lawsuit.

Details about departure time and location will be updated in the days leading up to the rally.

Organizers ask that parents who want to bring their children to the event fill out the official permission slip to return to the school as an RSVP so an accurate number of participants can be recorded to provide the correct number of T-shirts, posters for ralliers and proper information can be given to the bus companies and the appropriate police departments.

“First and foremost, we want them to know we want to open dialogue between the parents of MVP and the diocese,” said Claudia Valdes, a parent organizer with MVP. “Second, we would like to respectfully request [the diocese] drop the lawsuit so we can keep the school open and we can continue the course of education for over 400 students, otherwise it would adversely affect that many students and contribute to the severely overcrowded District 24 school system.”

Any participating students are asked to come in their MVP uniform. Any classes missed by students attending the rallies will be excused by teachers.

Last week parents created a Twitter page in an attempt to bring awareness of their fight to social media.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley penned a letter to Bishop James Massa, an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, asking that a new deal be inked that would allow MVP to stay open.

“On behalf of my constituents I am writing to urge that a new contract be drawn up that will permit Middle Village Prep to remain open,” Crowley wrote. “It is surprising that SUNY, the partnering organization with the charter school, and the board of trustees of Christ the King moved forward on opening the school if obvious legal barriers existed. To close the school at this point is an injustice to the families that are enrolled as well as the parents scheduled to join the school in September.”

QNS has reached out to the diocese for a comment on the rallies and is awaiting a reply.

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