Students, teachers and politicians spoke up Monday against school closures at Long Island City and Newtown high school. Following these closures the schools, and six others in Queens, would open next year with up to half of the staff replaced and a new name.
“We have been labeled the Queens 8, but we’ve done nothing wrong,” said Ken Achiron, a physical education teacher at Long Island City High School during the rally in front of the building.
These schools may go into a federal improvement program requiring their reconfiguration due to such issues as low test scores and graduation rates.
However, many of these schools have large populations of students who are learning English and have other special needs.
“This is an attack against immigrant populations,” UFT chapter leader Sam Lazarus said.
Sophomore Jameca Hutson said she applied for LICHS because of programs such as swimming and science research, which could be taken away during the closure.
“We can save our schools,” said LIC Senior Class Vice President Amira Sharif.
All other speakers spoke in this vein; however, LICHS student Ahmee Hekal said he’s alright with new teachers next year.