Teachers raise concerns about safety outside of New Haven school

Teachers and parents discuss safety concerns outside a New Haven school
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 5:19 PM EDT
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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - Teachers are raising concerns about the safety outside John C. Daniels School in New Haven.

The school, located on Congress Avenue in New Haven’s Hill neighborhood, houses students from pre-K to eighth grade.

At a recent board of education meeting, members of the teachers union spoke up regarding hazards and safety concerns they said were first brought up two years ago.

The concerns include everything from staff cars getting broken into, to people overdosing in their parking lot.

They said every morning the building manager goes around the school to clear the area of syringes and drug paraphernalia.

That’s because right next door to the school is a building that houses a methadone clinic.

On top of that, there’s the concern about crime.

Last month, more than a dozen shots were fired outside the school in broad daylight as after school programs were going on.

Earlier this month a man was shot and killed two blocks over, just a few hours before the start of the school day.

All of these issues are why the teachers union is asking the city for help in coming up with a safety plan.

“Our teachers come to that building every day, prepared to open young minds to wonder, but in order to enter, they face the harshest realities of our city as do our children,” said Marianne Maloney, Chief Steward for the New Haven Federation of Teachers.

“I just feel like, if they get rid of that building, it would be like much safer, because they be chilling, hanging out, it’s bad,” said Geneesha Nelson, a parent.

New Haven’s mayor said it is a long standing issue in the Hill, particularly with the APT Foundation’s methadone treatment clinic.

“I’ve personally gone and actually picked up needles myself multiple times to try to clean up the neighborhood with community members,” said Mayor Justin Elicker.

Elicker said they have focused on small things to try and improve the safety and security around the school.

“We’ve added additional lighting, additional cameras, we’ve installed an additional fence that separates the school from the field and that’s the goal of trying to prevent people from going on to school property and doing inappropriate things,” Elicker said.

Teachers at New Haven school ask for school safety plan