For the past few months our school administration and the CPA have been trying to reach a compromise with the Historic Paulus Hook Association (HPHA) regarding the schools use of Paulus Hook Park during school hours. Many of you have attended HPHA’s monthly meetings to voice your concerns and have reached out to city officials. An article was published in the Jersey Journal that strongly favored HPHA with little regard for our concerns for our children’s safety while they are at school. Not only are we parents of PS16 students but we are also residents of Paulus Hook. The CPA are working hard to represent our members to the fullest yet the HPHA are failing to recognize and understand how their members (which includes US!) feel. Ultimately the decision to lock the gates during school hours will be one made by city council. It is of utmost importance that we make our voices heard. Please email our councilperson Mr. James Solomon and Mayor Fulop expressing your concerns. Please sign our petition.
We realize it is hard to believe that the issue of children’s safety has actually turned into some type of argument but despite meetings and compromises this is the point we have reached. We are now asking our parents to sign and share (within the neighborhood) our petition which will be presented to Mayor Fulop and city council with the following message:
“Dear Mayor Fulop and elected city council officials
We the undersigned are requesting that the gates at Paulus Hook Park are locked between the hours of 8:30am and 2:45pm on school days only. This park shares a fence with PS16 . In previous years students have used the park for arrival and dismissal, recess and outdoor gym time. With over 700 students it is advantageous to be able to use the park. Outdoor time and exercise is not only good for children’s health, it helps contribute to their mental health and social development. Safety dictates not having random people in the playground at the same time as PS16 students. This park runs along a busy intersection. Keeping the gates open runs the risks of children aged 5 to 11 being injured by heavy vehicular traffic, possible abductions and children just leaving alone. Mayor Fulop has stated in emails to parents “When you trust your kids to a school environment you are trusting them to a safe environment with security and safeguards. I will make sure it is a secure setting for the school.” It is our hope that our voices are heard and Paulus Hook Park is a secure setting and safe environment for our children.”