Parents outraged in Roxbury over needles found near children's school

Parents outraged in Roxbury over needles found near children's school

BOSTON — Parents outraged over needles found near their children's school voice their concerns to Boston city leaders on Tuesday night.

Domingos DaRosa -- wearing white gloves and furious about the issue -- tossed a bucket full of discarded needles onto the floor before school officials.

"Do your kids live here? Do you deal with this every day?" DaRosa shouted to school officials.

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"My kids at the light, they see these addicts shooting themselves up," said parent Tony Rosa.

Boston city leaders were handing out cards reminding people to call 311 for community issues, like those needles by the park. But a lot of people at a heated meeting on Tuesday say that's not enough to fix this major problem.

Parents like Tony Rosa are becoming more concerned about the opioid epidemic, and how it's spilling over onto school grounds like the Orchard Gardens K-8 school in Roxbury.

A student had to go to the hospital last fall after being pricked by a needle at recess.

Azariah Harley Long, a third-grade student, said she looks down to make sure she doesn't touch a needle.

"I just look at my feet," she said.

But she saw one today.

"I was playing today and under the slide I found a needle. I was really scared," she said.

Boston Public School leaders addressed the issue Tuesday, saying they're already making changes to clean the area up.

They're proposing to build a bigger fence around the school.

Plus they have school staff inspecting property for needles three times a day, sweeping the grounds every Monday morning before school starts.

They're also looking at upgrading the lighting around the park, to keep addicts from hanging out there.

"People in there are doing their jobs, they’re trying as best as they can but to their resource, the resources are not allocated to the individuals who are trying to make a difference," said Rosa.

Parents say they appreciate the efforts from the city, but they wish there were bigger changes, and made faster, to protect their community.

"But at the end of the day, the people who live here got to deal with this crap," one parent said.

Boston Public Schools say they're also training teacher to talk to students about the dangers of needles and to not touch them, if they see them.

Parents are now hoping to actually see some of these changes soon.