Six weeks after Seattle Public Schools hosted a public meeting to address a dangerous homeless encampment on a public school property, pinning their hopes on one-man organization with an extensive criminal record to solve the problem, it was announced that the encampment behind Broadview Thomson K-8 School will not be removed before classes start on Sept. 1.
Meeting attendees said the campers are being made a higher priority than the children who attend the school and officials set no timeline for when the tents will be cleared.
Teachers, parents and neighbors have been calling for the encampment’s removal for over a year but have been stymied multiple times by the school board. In that time, the encampment has grown and currently 55 people are still living in tents on the property.
During a meeting Thursday night hosted by deputy superintendent Rob Gannon, school board member Liza Rankin, and Mike Mathias of Anything Helps, Mathias falsely claimed that the encampment was not a security threat despite numerous lockdowns in the school, violence in the encampment and overdose deaths. Due to the encampment, the district was forced to hire security guards after having banished police officers as school resource officers from campuses in 2020.