A group of students from a San Jose high school demanded on Thursday that district officials take action to prevent homeless drug addicts from continuing to invade their campus, an issue students say has been going on for a year.
A coalition of 20 students from KIPP San Jose Collegiate, a public charter high school, stood before school officials during a district board meeting last week to demand the administration do more to ensure the safety of students.
According to the students, homeless individuals have been trespassing on school property, using school restrooms, and leaving behind used needles.
The group of students requested that district officials install a fence around the school to prevent the homeless from wandering onto school property, a situation that has become a long-term ongoing problem since a homeless encampment was installed next to the school.
Alfredo Hernández, a student attending the public charter school, told KNTV, “We see them coming into our bathrooms. We have them sleeping in our athletic sheds, and we also have them breaking fences and doing drugs on the lunch table.”
Another student told the administration, “While in the bathroom, a homeless woman entered our private restroom.”
The students also requested that district officials construct a new school building since some classes are currently being taught in portable classrooms.
KIPP San Jose Collegiate released a statement to KNTV noting that the students raised “important, valid concerns.”
“At KIPP, our number one priority is the well-being of our students, and we take safety issues very seriously,” school officials stated.
“We are proud of our KIPP San José Collegiate students for raising important, valid concerns through their public advocacy. KIPP staff are committed to working in partnership with East Side Union High School District leaders to address the safety of the facilities at the Independence High School campus, where KIPP San José Collegiate is co-located,” the statement continued.
“We also know that facilities upgrades alone will not solve the web of complex issues presenting themselves at the school campus. A safe campus and community requires comprehensive coordination—to ensure the well being of all of our neighbors, including the unhoused community in the area. We are committed to working with the district and the City of San José towards a resolution,” the statement concluded.
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