NYC students learn remotely as migrants’ leaving school gym

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By Dan Sears

Brooklyn high school students were forced to learn remotely Wednesday — as nearly 2,000 migrants using their gym as a storm shelter were bused back to a nearby tent city.

Concerns that torrential rains and powerful winds would collapse a massive migrant tent at Floyd Bennett Field led to the move on Tuesday night — though migrants had already been cleared out of James Madison High School at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Despite their early departure, which a source described to The Post as “madness,” the school remained remote on Wednesday at the principal’s request, City Hall said.

The sheer number of workers needed to smoothly transport the 1,900 asylum seekers made the chaotic scene feel “like a concert,” the source added.

Photos shared on social media platform X by Mayor Eric Adams appeared to show migrant families, including children, sleeping on the floor of the school’s gymnasium.

A photo shared on X by the mayor appeared to show migrants sleeping on the floor of the school’s gymnasium. X/@NYCMayor

“As of 0427 Hours our temporary relocation of Floyd Bennett Field HERRC guests to James Madison High School was completed and all guests safely returned to Floyd Bennett Field HERRC,” the Office of Emergency Management wrote alongside the photos.

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The migrants — who were moved to the school around 5 p.m. Tuesday as a precaution to the storm — were met with fierce backlash from some in the neighborhood.

As a result, Assemblyman Michael Novakhov called for a rally Wednesday morning outside the high school to protest the disruption of students’ education.

A few parents staked out the school Tuesday as buses dropped off migrants, with one irate mother yelling, “How do you feel? Does it feel good?”

Migrants were taken to the school Tuesday at 5 p.m. and left by 4:30 a.m. Wednesday. Christopher Sadowski

“How does it feel that you kicked all the kids out of school tomorrow? Does it feel good? I hope you feel good. I hope you will sleep very well tonight!” the mother, identified only as Michelle, screamed at the buses.

One local dad chimed in, “How do you feel stealing American tax money?”

The school had announced online earlier in the day that classes would be held remotely on Wednesday due to “the activation of James Madison High School as a temporary overnight respite center” for the migrants.

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A rally is being held Wednesday morning at the school in protest of students’ education being disrupted by the temporary shelter. Getty Images

It’s not the first time extreme weather has been an issue for the 2,000-bed tent facility, which took a beating last month when heavy rain and gusting, 55-mph winds shook metal bolts and hinges loose from the ceiling.

The ferocious Dec. 18 storm dropped up to 4 inches of rain in the region and had migrants inside the tents fearing for their lives, they told The Post at the time.

City officials said they had an evacuation plan in place if needed, but said no flooding was reported during the December downpour.

They also said they had not been notified of bolts and hinges breaking loose.

Nearly 70,000 migrants are currently in the city’s care. Gregory P. Mango

The first migrants moved to the abandoned Brooklyn airfield in November after Gov. Kathy Hochul negotiated with the White House for access to the site to erect a tent city.

Nearly 70,000 of the 162,000 migrants who have arrived in the Big Apple since spring of 2022 remain in the city’s care.

The city also has migrant tents on Randall’s Island in Manhattan and at the former Creedmore Psychiatric Center in Queens, but officials said Tuesday those sites were less exposed to extreme weather.

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Adams also said that while the tents at the other two sites are “anchored” to the ground, the ones at Floyd Bennett Field are only held down by “heavy stones.”

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