New Jersey - Boxes Of Records Seized In Raid Of Lakewood Special Needs School
Lakewood, NJ - A school for special children in Lakewood was one of several locations targeted today by authorities, as law enforcement agents bearing empty cardboard boxes swarmed the office of the Lakewood Board of Education, the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence and the office of Mark A. Siegel, executive director of the school.
According to reports in the Asbury Park, law enforcement agents first visited the Ocean County Health Department’s Women, Infants and Children Program and the CHEMED health clinic by mistake at approximately 3:45 PM. The Lakewood Board of Education had originally been located at an office next door, before moving to new offices several years ago.
Stacks of boxes were removed from the SCHI building on Oak Street and loaded into a white van with New Jersey license plates. The school, which educates over 100 special needs children from Lakewood, as well as other districts, has been criticized because most of its students come from Lakewood’s Jewish community and for its steep tuition which is in excess of $90,000.
A worker who asked not to be identified and was in the SCHI building when the raid took place said that he has been working in the building for close to a year and that while many of the students are from Lakewood, the school does not only cater to Jewish students and that no religious instruction takes place during regular school hours.
“This is the most legit place you can find,” the worker told VIN News. “They do everything by the book here.”
A report that had been previously released by the New Jersey Department of Education criticized SCHI for its lack of black and Hispanic students. That report was later retracted.
“The truth of the matter is, we could not find a parent in our community to say that, ‘I wanted (my child) to go to SCHI and I was denied,” admitted Reverend Glenn Wilson, the head of Lakewood U.N.I.T.E which advocates for the interests of public school families in Lakewood.
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