Seattle parents are outraged and concerned as their children are starting to return to school while Seattle Public Schools are flooded with homeless encampments, according to Fox News.
Fox News’ Lawrence Jones visited Seattle recently and noted that two Seattle schools, Edmond S Meany Middle School and Broadview Thomson K-8, are inundated with homeless encampments.
Jones pointed out that he witnessed drugs and needles “everywhere.”
You would think the government has a responsibility to keep folks safe [and] would get them out of the area and put them in a safe area where they’re not around kids,” Jones said.
“Parents have just had enough,” Jones added.
“I would like to see more leadership on the part of the city and I do have a teenager. He’s just really distressed about the situation,” one Seattle parent told Jones.
Parents have been calling on the school district to remove the encampments for months, but have had no success.
Parents are enraged that the district has not yet resolved what they describe as “a dangerous problem.”
“Obviously, nobody is taking the problem seriously,” Bill Steele, a resident in the neighborhood near the school, said.
A school district spokesperson stated, “We are working in partnership with the City of Seattle to support community members residing at the encampment near Meany Middle School.”
“SPS [Seattle Public Schools] will be identifying the area of the encampment that is close to the school, supporting City contracted outreach partners to identify solutions to challenges, and making clear the boundaries between city property and district grounds,” the statement continued, noting that “the pandemic has deepened inequities, including access to housing.”
“This is not a problem with easy solutions, but we are committed to working in partnership to address it together and do so in a compassionate way,” the statement continued.
“We want these people to get the help that they need, but you cannot have needles open everywhere where kids are,” Jones said.
“It’s common sense.”
“Encampment removals have been limited over the last year due to COVID-19, but as the City opens new shelter spaces like at Executive Pacific Hotel and Kings Inn, we hope we can address encampments on sidewalks, playfields, and parks,” Rachel Schulkin said.
From Fox News:
When trying to reach the city of Seattle for comment, a spokesperson for Seattle Parks and Recreation responded to Fox News’ inquiry saying they are trying to address the situation.
Jones noted on Wednesday that the homeless encampments are situated in beautiful neighborhoods.
In the United States, homelessness rose 3% in the year 2020, adding 12,751 more people to the country’s homeless population.
In Seattle, the percentage increase in homelessness is more than double that of the national average, sitting at a staggering 6%.