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Morning Spew

The Kids Are All Right (Maintaining Perspective and Basic Human Compassion)

And more news for your Friday.

9:04 AM EST on January 12, 2024

(Hell Gate)

A programming note: Hell Gate is off on Monday for MLK Day. Morning Spew will be back on Tuesday.

Can anything happen in New York City these days without the worst people in the world absolutely losing their shit

Apparently not. The latest example, in a week full of examples, came after migrant families were evacuated from Floyd Bennett Field on Tuesday afternoon, due to concerns over high winds, and moved to nearby James Madison High School, where they stayed until the early morning. The next day, the high school switched to remote learning for one day. 

There are some very valid criticisms of how the City handled the situation (not to mention the question of whether families should be housed at the airfield to begin with). For one, while people were promised cots to sleep on at the high school, families ended up sleeping on the floor. But the City doing the bare minimum and expressing even an iota of concern for the health and safety of migrant families apparently was enough to set off local Republican elected officials like Assemblymember Michael Novakhov, who blasted the City for "prioritiz[ing] migrants over our communities, budget, safety, and even the education of our children." ("Our" is doing a lot of work there.) Even Elon Musk weighed in, writing in his typical conspiratorial style that "this is what happens when you run out of hotel rooms" and that "soon, cities will run out of schools to vacate. Then they will come for your homes.” According to City officials, all of this manufactured outrage led to a "torrent of hate calls," as well as a bomb threat. 

The CITY interviewed some parents of students at James Madison High School, as well as some students, and found a notably different perspective from people who actually were affected by the *one day* of remote learning. Namely, many didn't see any of this as a big deal. 

Here's what the school's PTA president Marsha Thompson-Miles had to say: "I understand the frustration. No one wants their kids to be displaced out of their school, but it was just one day." Moreover, Thompson-Miles, the CITY wrote, "felt pride that the school had provided a space for families in need." "For one night, people didn't have to deal with rain and wind and the elements. They felt safe and warm," Thompson-Miles said. 

And while a couple of students expressed some concerns (one 15-year-old told the CITY, "They put [migrants] over us students which is kind of crazy"), it seems most were totally fine with their school being used to help immigrant families: 

"We did remote learning for one and a half years, I don't see why people are making such a big deal of one day," said Spencer Katz, a 16-year-old junior. "It wasn't sunshine and rainbows for them [migrant families] either. It wasn't a handout, it was like basic human needs. No one should be left out and abandoned in a storm."

Akib Chowdhury, a 16-year-old junior who immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh at age 7, said he felt taken aback by the uproar about his school. 

"It was kind of sad to see," he said, when the migrants "just want a better place, a better place to live."

And some links that won't make you lose your shit:

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