Patrick Osborn

HISD School Considered as Shelter for Immigrant Children

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Terrell Middle School (Dennis Spellman, NEWS 92 FM)

(HOUSTON) — Some children who came to the U.S. border from Central America may be staying here in Houston.

Federal officials toured Houston Independent School District’s Terrell Middle School on Tuesday. The vacant school on Crosstimbers in northeast Houston is being considered as a temporary shelter for unaccompanied children.

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The school closed in 2001 and has been used as a storage facility. Most recently, it housed HISD’s Junior ROTC program.

“This is one of those facilities that HISD has made available,” HISD spokesperson Shaleah Reed said. “And we’ve looked at our resources and decided that this is one of those facilities that we think is worth using.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was with Homeland Security officials who toured the school She told us it’s possible the government will tour other facilities in Houston.

Some of the immigrant children have had health issues, so we asked Jackson Lee what will be done to be sure those health issues aren’t brought into the community here.

“First of all, before they leave the border they are fully checked out and fully assessed by health personnel, and then there will be a full running clinic in all the facilities that have children,” she said.

NEWS 92 FM’s Dennis Spellman reports:

Jackson Lee would not speculate on how long the kids could be here. She the federal government, not HISD, would pay to house the children if Terrell is selected for use.

Not everyone in the neighborhood is happy about Terrell’s potential use as a shelter.

“I’m here because I’m angry about this school being opened to some outsiders,” said Bernadette Lancelin, who lives nearby. “And instead, our kids have to be bused everywhere because there is no good middle schools out here.”

We’ll have more on this developing story as it unfolds.

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