School walkout focuses on safety threat of discarded needles

BOSTON — Roxbury teacher Suzie McGlone is tired of seeing discarded needles littered around school grounds every day.

"It's frustrating. It's heartbreaking. It's horrifying," said McGlone, who teaches sixth grade.

She joined others who stood united outside Orchard Gardens K-8 pilot school in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood, chanting the message they’ve been trying to get across for years.

“I don’t know if anyone can imagine having a child that you need to send to school, by law, and where they are at has unsafe needles all over the place," McGlone said.

It's the community's latest cry for help after repeated and ongoing efforts to bring more resources this school. Fears became a reality in October when a student was pricked by a needle during recess and forced to endure an extensive series of treatments.

“You can't come to school and be scared to be pricked by a needle. It just shouldn’t be something a parent thinks about," said Ildulce Brandao, dean of discipline at Orchard Gardens.

The school has been forced to teach the lesson to students because of how often they come across needles.

Displays inside the school illustrate the program here called “Stop, Turn and Tell."

Kids here say they are always on the lookout in places where they play.

“I find needle all the time," said sixth-grader Adilson Monteiro. “I hope some more people can help us with needles."

Parent Ursula Allston-Hill shared her concerns.

"We don’t need these needles around our schools and kids. Our kids can't even go out for recess. There’s kids getting poked by needles. It’s unnecessary. It needs to stop," she said.