NY school district offers remote learning due to gun violence, not coronavirus

In one New York City town, the gun violence is so bad that school officials are giving parents the option of remote learning for their kids this week.

It's going on in Newburgh, about 60 miles north of New York City.

There have been at least six incidents of shots being fired in the town since Nov. 17, 2021.  There were two shootings reported just this week.

The school district allowed parents to keep their kids at home Tuesday and Wednesday and use virtual learning.

Just last week, 4 teens were wounded in a shooting just blocks from Newburgh Free Academy.

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Police say there has been a 19% jump in violent crime in Newburgh compared to the same time last year.

In a statement on the district website, the school system said:  "We are fortunate to have a good working relationship with local law enforcement and various community agencies in the district municipalities and Orange County. We will continue to work together with these organizations to develop a multi-tiered support layer that will enhance the systems that are currently in operation."

District officials say they believe the schools are safe and that students learn best when present in school buildings but they understand that unrest in the community has caused anxiety for some students.

"The recent acts of violence in the community has prompted the immediate need to pause and once again, reflect on the needs of our student body, faculty and staff in relation to the effectiveness of current procedures and routines to provide a safe and secure learning environment. As families, a district, and as individual school buildings, we all have work to do," the district said.

The district has 14 schools ranging from elementary to high school.  It has an enrollment of about 11,500 students.