A Hell’s Kitchen public school is struggling to cope with swelling class sizes and language barriers after between 100 and 120 illegal minors — some of whom were bussed in from Texas — enrolled in the same elementary school.
PS 111 on West 53rd Street is used to cozy classes with 25 to 30 students in each, but after the recent flood of new students — many of whom don’t speak English — the classes ballooned to as many as 38 children.
“I’m just concerned that the classrooms are a lot larger so there’s not really that one-on-one time with the children,” one PS 111 mom told the New York Post. “It’s just unfortunate that they’re all here and they didn’t get split up; there’s so many other public schools.”
One third-grader told his mom, “The teachers are having a hard time because a lot of the kids don’t speak English.”
Indeed, PS 111 had to send 15 children to nearby PS 51, which offers “transitional bilingual” classes, a PS 111 insider told The Post. There, children are taught in Spanish for half the year, after which English is gradually introduced.
Parents at PS 111 were given the option of children attending regular classes, where English is taught for an hour a day, or placing them in the school’s own, newly created transitional bilingual class. Fifteen students joined the latter, while approximately 75 stayed in a normal class setting.
“Some parents just said, ‘I don’t want them speaking Spanish. I want them learning English now,'” the school source said.
One PS 111 mom said “It’s been rough” on the migrant children, who “were not dressed properly for the weather.” She and her husband began gathering donations for the families who have been housed, at least for now, at the Skyline Hotel on 10th Avenue.
But according to mom Valda Daseviciute, whose fourth-grade son’s class at PS 51 gained two new students, the future is concerning.
“The classes are already big,” she said. “Two kids is not that much, but we don’t know the future of this.”
The added stress on Hell’s Kitchen students comes at a time when many of them are already struggling with anxiety.
As American Wire reported, traumatized Hell’s Kitchen kids are increasingly seeking therapy to deal with their daily exposure to the homeless vagrants and zoned-out junkies who have taken over their community.
NYC children seeking therapy to deal with anxiety of being exposed to vagrants: ‘Constant state of panic’ https://t.co/crAE08yPSX
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) September 24, 2022
“My daughter has seen everything from fornication, masturbation, defecation, urination, you name it, she has seen it. … consistently and constantly. She is in this constant state of panic,” said Hell’s Kitchen mom Katie Hamill, whose 7-year-old daughter is afraid no one is helping “the dying people” — drugged-out addicts, like the one who got his buzz on at a 42nd street playground and began ripping out his hair.
According to Hamill, scenes such as that are deeply upsetting to her daughter, who is one of “a lot” of kids now receiving professional help.
Crime in the community is up and the quality of life New Yorkers once enjoyed is down, The Post reported, and many kids in Hell’s Kitchen no longer wish to leave their houses.
Since May, City Hall estimates that almost 16,000 illegal migrants have arrived in the Big Apple.
The Department of Education is unable to say how many of those arrivals have enrolled in the city’s schools, because, thanks to the state’s progressive policies, no one asks enrollees their country of origin or their immigration status.
Still, Schools Chancellor David Banks has instructed principals to not only identify the migrants but to give them “an array of city services as needed,” The Post reports.
Meanwhile, the DOE has recently announced it will be bringing in 25 new bilingual teachers to the overwhelmed classes this school year, thanks to a new partnership with the Dominican Republic.
In the meantime, says Aga Sydor, whose young son says the two new students in his fourth-grade PS 51 class “are very nice kids, but they don’t speak a word of English, so we know the teachers will have to divide the attention and kind of help them out.”
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