Forget the pandemic — they’re worried about pistols.
The Newburgh Enlarged City School District allowed shellshocked parents to keep their kids at home Tuesday after two separate shooting incidents near campuses Monday.
“The district believes that our schools are safe and that students learn best in this environment,” acting Superintendent Ed Forgit wrote on the district’s website. “However, the district will be offering students in all grade levels the option of a virtual learning model for Tuesday, November 23, 2021.”
Officials offered the same option for Wednesday.
The move comes amid an alarming surge in gun violence in the town of just 28,000 roughly 60 miles north of New York City.
Police said that there have been six shootings in Newburgh in the last week alone and that violent crimes have surged by 19 percent so far this year.
On Wednesday, four teens were shot during a chaotic gunfight near Newburgh Free Academy.
Viral video of the incident shows youngsters scrambling for cover amid a hail of bullets.
Both of Monday’s shootings took place near local schools.
The district urged parents to take a more direct role in confronting Newburgh’s spiraling gun epidemic.
“It is also important that our adults act as role models when managing their emotions – especially when they do not agree with someone,” Forgit told parents in a letter. “Our children are always watching our behaviors for cues on how they, in turn, should behave.”
Newburgh — where a quarter of residents live in poverty — has waged a long battle with crime and economic stagnation.