Gun Violence Closes Long Island School

By Greg Cergol
|  Monday, Jul 19, 2010  |  Updated 10:16 PM EDT
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Gun Violence Closes Long Island School

WNBC

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Months of shootings around a Huntington Station school culminated with a divided school board voting to close the Jack Abrams School in September.

At an emergency meeting Monday night, officials narrowly approved the closing by a 4 to 3 vote, siding with parents who said they feared for the safety of their children.

Now, the 340 sixth graders slated to attend the school in the fall will be moved to other district buildings.

Gun violence around the intermediate school sparked the demand for its closing. At least three shootings over the past eight months were believed to be gang related. Days ago, a 16 year old was wounded just blocks from the school during a graduation party.

Despite the violence, some parents have argued against the closing, saying that shutting down the school was tantamount to the school district abandoning the neighborhood.

No students from the school were ever injured by gunfire; but proponents of the school closing insisted it was only a matter of time before that would change.

The decision to shutter the school came in spite of stepped up police patrols in the area. Suffolk Police have used traffic check points as a way to curtail gang violence. In addition, squad cars would change their shifts right in front of the school building.

Suffolk county executive Levy attended Monday's school board meeting. Some parents opposed to the school closing pointed the finger of blame at the police department for the break down in security in the neighborhood.

The Abrams school first opened in 1969. Earlier this year, school officials balked at the idea of closing the school. Instead, the school board opted to move younger students out of the building, keeping only sixth graders in the classrooms.

But frightened parents kept up the pressure to close the school. The school will remain a district administration building.
 

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