Students at John Jay High School in Park Slope have developed something of a bad reputation over the years for after-school criminal mischief in the neighborhood. The school was recently in the news because of plans to bring a special selective high school to the school's large Seventh Avenue campus. Parents worried that the new students at "Millennium Brooklyn" would get preferential treatment, and some accused the Department of Education of "apartheid education." But despite their protests, a panel voted to approve the new school at John Jay, to the delight of some local residents.
Millennium Brooklyn could bring up to 600 new students into unused classrooms at John Jay, and many of the new students will be local residents; currently the John Jay student body is largely comprised of black and Hispanic children who live outside of Park Slope. For decades, local residents have complained about the rowdy behavior of John Jay students, and one longtime local resident e-mailed us to describe her life under siege:
I have lived here more than 30 years. Those kids are animals—no, that's an insult to animals. I am a little old lady with grey hair, barely 5 feet tall, and I was surrounded in a threatening manner by those horrible girls once during "animal house hours." I made my escape by walking calmly into a store. I avoid 7th Avenue now, when school has let out.
Normally I am at work during "animal house hours." I feel sorry for the local IS students, who are frequently bullied by these "students." The subways are also horrible during that period. John Jay has always been a disgrace. There is no reason to have a magnet school for bullies and delinquents in Park Slope. It would be wonderful to have a local high school for local students, with integration with other neighborhoods for students who want to study.
How about that! A magnet school for students! Any race welcome! Only requirement, a desire to succeed! By the way, I am an Obama Democrat. I love Obama. I would want anyone in his family living next door to me. I work mostly with people of color every day... They wouldn't want their kids going to school with the ones currently at John Jay. So don't let the people yelling "racism" take over the discussion.
"I voted for Obama"—racist Park Slope's twist on "no homo"?