Ocean City —
After a series of incidents that sent a 10-year-old to the hospital three times in a month, parents at Public School 161 in Crown Heights are demanding more supervision for pupils.
"The building is out of control," said Malika Simmons, the mother of the boy, Dexter De.Lisle. "He's scared. He has nightmares. ... A lot of children are being picked on, and the administration is not responding."
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Simmons, who works in the office of state Assemblyman Karim Camara (D-Brooklyn), was among a half-dozen parents who joined City Councilwoman Letitia James (WF-Brooklyn) and Camara yesterday to bring attention to the problem.In a press conference outside the school, they blamed an uptick in violence on overcrowded classrooms and cuts to the school budget that reduced the number of cafeteria and schoolyard monitors.
Principal Deborah Barrett confirmed the school had fewer monitors but declined to comment further.
Department of Education spokesman Keith Kalb said educrats have been working for weeks to address parents' concerns. More monitors will be hired, he said, and a review is underway to ensure safety procedures are followed.
Official school reports confirm that Dexter was taken three times to the hospital since Jan. 17, but the reports list all the incidents as accidents, Kalb said. No children were disciplined.
Dexter, in a blue suit as he addressed reporters yesterday, said what happened to him was not accidental.