Some Brooklyn students afraid of school

May 27, 2008 5:05:28 PM PDT
Some high school students in Brooklyn say they're too scared of violence at school to attend class.But the violence is coming from students younger than them, from middle schoolers.

They say it's gotten so bad, they'd rather stay home, and it looks like that's just what they're doing.

It's happening at Foundations Academy on Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Eyewitness News reporter Carolina Leid has more.

High schoolers say groups of middle schoolers jump them before and after school. They say it's gotten to the point where they're afraid to walk through the front doors.

Students say that's why nearly 75 percent of them didn't show up for school two Fridays ago.

Some students say they've been looking over their shoulders for weeks.

It comes after battles with Urban Environment middle schoolers who share their building.

Since then, 10th-grader Breanah Folkes gets picked up and dropped off every day.

"About three kids in my school got held up at gunpoint," she said.

Parent and volunteer Cecilia Bonner says it all started at a bake sale for an AIDS walk a few weeks ago, when the younger kids shouted anti-gay slurs, threw food, then fists.

"A lot of people was keeping their kids home," she said. "You figure these kids wear uniform tops...A lot of innocent kids, like my daughter, she stayed out for a week."

The Department of Education says the principal sat down with parents to explain what he was going to do about it.

Now, a dozen security officers stand guard and a yellow bus takes students to the subway station after school.

But some can't help but feel helpless.

"You're not allowed to choose what school they go to," grandmother Vicky Thomas said. "That leaves you at a point, you don't know what to do."

The Board of Education wants to stress that no arrests have been made and no students have been injured. Members add that some students have been suspended.