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School FAIL: Brooklyn School Trashes Books

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momlogic's Vivian:

Public School261 in Boerum Hill threw away a pile of children's books with the garbage.

This New York Daily News article had me scratching my head in disbelief.

One of my neighborhood elementary schools prepared for the first day of classes by tossing about 200 books in the trash -- and they were in decent condition!

Teresa Melendez, the parent of two kids there and a PTA member who helps out with the school's book fair, put it simply when she said, "I am appalled. To find out they're throwing away books when our library needs the books ... I'm in shock."

Another school parent dug through the stacks to save some of the books -- as well as two computer printers! "Look at this -- this is a really good book," he said. "This is not the first time they've done this. I have a TV I picked up last year over here -- a good TV. It still works." The Daily News article noted that neighbors have complained for years about the trash outside the school.

When asked to comment, a Department of Education spokesperson said, "When getting rid of pieces of furniture or books that are still in good condition, schools should make every effort to donate these materials to other schools or charities. However, schools may need to dispose of textbooks that are still usable because the material they contain is outdated."

All you teachers out there, please help us understand: Considering the fact that schools are putting in place strong initiatives to teach children how to be eco-responsible, is there any reason AT ALL for a school to toss out perfectly good books and computer equipment?!

next: Carrots Disguised as Junk Food?!
5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lisa R. September 7, 2010, 10:39 AM

It seems this is an on-going thing with this school. They obviously have more money than sense. I am glad to see N.Y. public schools are doing so well financially. How is the education they’re providing?

Megan M. September 7, 2010, 11:23 AM

This is not uncommon for schools. When I was in high school I worked at an elementary school during the summer. The library would throw away dumpsters of book, learning supplies etc. They could have called the Salvation army to pick some stuff up!

Anonymous September 7, 2010, 3:26 PM

I’m a teacher in Florida and I’ve seen this too. The teachers generally are appalled by this but are told it’s policy and not given any choice. One year we had a perfectly good one year old reading series in our large county and the new Superintendent wanted a different series. So he spent an untold amount of money buying a new series and the old one was supposed to be given away. It was the same year as Katrina hit New Orleans and I suggested we give our county’s series to New Orleans but I was told we couldn’t because it was the “Florida” edition and they couldn’t read that in Louisiana. What??? Thousands if not millions of dollars of brand new books were to be thrown away on the whim of the upper management. At our school we at least snuck the books in the hallway and let the parents pick and choose what they wanted for their childrens’ home reading collection. I can’t speak for what the other schools did though.

Renee September 8, 2010, 7:57 PM

Wow. I can see outdated textbooks-those need to be replaced regularly-but reading programs? Pieces of literature? Has it escaped anyone’s notice that the majority of the literature our kids will study in school was written before the 21st century?

tabletki na pryszcze April 3, 2011, 7:37 AM

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