Parents in Brooklyn are demanding increased police presence at their children's schools after a recent spate of shootings sent their kids scrambling from windowed classrooms into hallways for cover five times in the last two weeks, according to a published report.
About 800 students attend classes in the four schools housed in the same building on Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
That building, which houses Public School 368, Foundations Academy High School, Urban Assembly School for the Urban Environment Middle School and Success Academy, a charter school, is located across the street from the Marcy Houses, a public housing complex known for its high crime rates and being the childhood home of rapper Jay-Z.
Parents and teachers of students who attend one of the four nearby schools are growing increasingly apprehensive about the violence surrounding their kids. Quick cracks of gunfire are commonly heard around the building during school hours, most recently on Wednesday, Success Academy principal Monica Burress told the Daily News.
Burress said there have been nine shootings outside the school in the last seven months.
"They lock down the school building. (Students) have to sit away from the windows. They have to go sit in the hallways," Burress told the News. "The police respond quickly, but we need more."
A police source told the News that the NYPD has beefed up patrols near the school and at the Marcy Houses, and that the department is aware of the frequency of gunfire close to classrooms. But parents still want more assurances their kids will be safe in school.
Rachel Pantin, whose 6-year-old son Anthony attends the charter school Burress oversees, told the News she's anxious about her boy going to school there.
"I hope whoever is doing this just stops," she told the paper. "I am going to stand up and fight for this school. It needs to be protected."
Parents, students and teachers planned to rally near the building Friday morning to demand increased police presence on the premises.
A Department of Education spokeswoman told the News city officials have met with teachers about the gunfire and plan to do so again.