Parents outraged over 'chaotic' dismissal at Staten Island school

SUNNYSIDE, Staten Island (WABC) -- Any parent will say that pickup from a school dismissal can be organized chaos, but at the Michael J. Petrides campus in the Sunnyside section of Staten Island, parents and caregivers from two schools say the past couple of weeks have not been so organized.

"It's a disaster every day to pick up," said 2nd-grade parent Amanda Rossi.

A large visitors' parking lot has now been cut in half - in an empty space, a School Construction Authority is building a third school, set to open in the future. The new school will reduce the number of parking spaces from 650 to 350.

The Department of Education says that is still 350 more parking spaces than many city schools have in the other boroughs, but people move to Staten Island for the space.

Now, many are double and triple parking or parking illegally. Some are even unofficially hoofing it with their kids through the brush or up hills.

"I parked...and coming back up the hill it was like, five blocks, and I have a heart condition, walking up a hill like this," says grandparent Ron Rojack.

According to the principal and the superintendent, 96 more spaces have now been created, and dismissal times are improving. Parents say they are not so sure about that, and say they are simply getting used to dismissal taking up to an hour longer.

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