A group of parents are organizing to push back against the possibility of closing Northport Middle School.
Citing complaints about fumes, mysterious odors, air and water quality and other problems over several years, a group of parents and others have been demanding the testing of compounds they see as a threat, with some wanting the school closed permanently, and others seeking a temporary closing while testing continues.
An emotional, five-hour Northport school board meeting last week that included a presentation from experts who are conducting environmental tests at the school brought out scores of parents expressing anger and a lack of trust in the school administration and board. Some of those parents want the school permanently closed; others want it closed until testing is completed. That group has demanded sickouts, including one Monday that featured some people dressed in hazmat suits. Others repeatedly mocked a line frequently used by the district that it had taken certain actions “Out of an abundance of caution…”
The board voted to have a committee studying the future needs of the district to consider whether closing the school should be considered.
But the new group, set up on Facebook as Northport Middle School Strong, is challenging some of accusations made by the other group. “Let facts, not fear and bullying make our decisions!,” one person wrote.
Others complained about how Board of Education members and school superintendent Robert Banzer have been portrayed on social media.
A teacher at Northport Middle School wrote of the Close Northport Middle School group, “They have been posting inaccurate information about the staff, the testing, and our school. I tried to post this on that page and they deleted and blocked me because I do not support their narrative. I support science and facts.”