Kevin Flynn 0

Back Door Walkers at Forest Ave. Elementary School, West Babylon, NY

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The parents of the students at Forest Ave. Elementary school in West Babylon, New York were told by Principal Patricia Acocella that:

"Based on the recommendation of our security firm, Altaris, the back door walkers (and busers) exit will discontinue in the 2016-2017 school year. All students will enter and exit through our front doors of the building where our security guard is located. If you are currently a back door walker, please make the appropriate provisions for next year's 2016-2017 school year."

This is a major change that has come into question for many of the parents of the kids that were previously considered back door walkers. Many of these kids do not qualify for bus service. Now they have to utilize Baywood Ave. to get to the front of the school which is extremely narrow and has no sidewalks.

Parents were told that they could still utilize the back driveway but they would have to walk their kids around to the front entrance. This calls into question the safety of the kids as they now have to walk around a building without proper lighting and possibly through inclement weather. For years, opening the back door which has a separate horseshoe driveway and plenty of sidewalks worked well for so many parents and kids without any issues.

The added cars and foot traffic is a vital safety concern at the front of the school that seems to be overlooked by the principal and the security firm Altaris with this recommendation. More cars and kids in the narrow front entrance means the greater chances for accidents to happen. We need to protect our kids.

We are asking you to join us in making it known to the West Babylon Board of Education, Principal Patricia Acocella and the security firm they employ that parents and kids NEED Forest Avenue Elementary School to continue utilizing the back door policy that has never been a safety concern before and should not be taken away as an entrance and exit option in the future.

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