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UFT raises safety questions about space shuffle at ASL school

A union report citing safety hazards at a Manhattan school for deaf students is helping fuel opposition to the city’s plan to add an additional middle school to the building.

Parents, students and teachers at the American Sign Language and English Lower and Secondary Schools and the Clinton School for Artists and Writers have spent months protesting the city’s plan to move Clinton into the ASL schools’ building. The results of a recent safety inspection by union officials that cited potential problems with evacuating the building in case of fire have prompted more outcry.

“It is unconsionable that DOE is considering adding 300 more people to a building with such life-and-death insufficiencies for its current population,” Susan Kramer, a Clinton School parent, said in an email. “I will not endanger my child at this building.”

Department of Education officials insisted the building is safe.

“We would not move forward on this proposal were we not fully confident that the students and staff at these schools are safe,” said DOE spokesman Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld. “The building is in compliance with the New York City Building Code, as is legally required. The report from the UFT inexplicably uses a standard that has no legal authority in NYC.”

The citywide school board is scheduled to vote on the city plan to move the Clinton School next week.

Here’s the report from the UFT: