The people of Prospect Heights are fighting back over the plan to allow approximately 50 students who have been suspended from their schools to come to Prospect Heights. The plan is for these problem kids to report to a Department of Education office building that is located on Park Place.
The idea proposed by the Department of Education is to have two alternative learning centers. There would be one for students on short-term suspension and one for those on long-term suspension. They would both be located in the Park Place building.
Residents complain that, when such students have been in the area in the past, they make noise, throw their trash on the ground and are a nuisance to the neighbors. Those advocating for the students argue that the building itself isn’t appropriate for the kids, as it has no gym, cafeteria or library.
Education Department spokeswoman Magie Feinberg, however, counters all arguments. As she said,
“The location, 355 Park Place, currently is being used as an administrative office for the district, but was (used) for instructional purposes.”
Trying to reassure those who are against the plan, she said that the teens will be closely watched when the program goes into place in the fall.
Residents do not feel reassured. City Councilwoman Letitia James, getting into the argument, said that there was a rise in crime last year that she is attributing to the school location. As she said, “Because of their previous experience, [residents\] have a cause for concern. Since the school closed, the problems have abated.”