Rise & Shine: Hoax bomb threat, one of hundreds received nationwide, evacuates a Bronx school

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to diversify New York City’s specialized high schools hit another roadblock on Thursday. Asian-American parents and civil-rights groups filed suit to stop the city from altering the way the schools admit students, arguing the move would discriminate against Asian-American students. The suit seeks a preliminary injunction, which could, if granted, introduce new uncertainty for eighth graders who took the SHSAT this fall and are hoping for admission.

Three thousand students at Bronx High School of Science were evacuated on Thursday in response to an emailed bomb threat, one of hundreds sent to schools, businesses, hospitals and other institutions across the country, including 30-40 in New York City. Officials have determined the threats were a hoax.  

The Manhattan parent who spoke out at a tense meeting in District 2 last week, where most people voiced opposition to the city’s plan to scrap the SHSAT, has explained why she came to support doing away with a test that has advantaged families like hers. Although her child has benefitted from screening methods used by the city’s elite schools, she worried over the example she and her husband were setting for their daughter: "How do we look her in the eye and continue to seek privilege in an educational system that is structured to favor some children, including our own, and not others?"

It’s a question we will be pondering this Friday for all students.

--Sara Mosle, New York bureau chief

HEADED TO COURT A federal lawsuit has been filed to halt a change to how New York City’s elite specialized high schools admit students. The Wall Street Journal, Chalkbeat, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post

SCARE TACTICS Bomb threats, later determined to be a hoax, were emailed to hundreds of schools, businesses and other institutions across the country on Thursday, causing fear and evacuations, including at one large Bronx high school. The New York Daily News, The New York Times

FIRST PERSON The parent who stood up to defend the city’s plan to do away with the SHSAT at last week’s tense District 2 meeting, explains her support of the plan, even though it would disadvantage her own family. Chalkbeat

HOT MESS New York State efforts to provide early-childhood education are a hodge-podge of programs that are hard both for officials to oversee and for parents to navigate, according to a new report. Times Union

UNENDING CRISIS Homeless students continue to face steep challenges in the city owing to rising rents and a rent voucher program ended roughly a decade ago. Catholic News Agency

SING-ALONG A music program in Queens brings Haitian-American and other students together to talk about their cultures and bridge divides. QNS

LOCATION, LOCATION The city’s department of education postponed a vote on co-locating two schools in Hell’s Kitchen after the plan faced questions and concerns from parents. Patch