San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan met Tuesday with students from KIPP San Jose Collegiate to hear their concerns about a homeless encampment next to the school.
The students say trespassers from the encampment have been entering school grounds, using their bathrooms and leaving discarded needles at the lunch tables. They don’t feel safe.
“I’m very grateful that the mayor was able to take time out of his day to speak to the youth here in the east side community in order to learn more about the experiences that the students here are facing,” said Alberto Hernandez, an 11th grade student who organized the meeting with Mahan.
The school district praised the students “for raising important, valid concerns through their public advocacy.”
The mayor wants to send outreach teams to the encampment to connect the unhoused individuals with services. He said he would also send law enforcement to assess the situation and mentioned potential installation of security cameras.
The explosion of homeless encampments has become a point of contention for many school districts and local governments. Cities like Los Angeles and Sacramento have responded by banning encampments near sensitive sites like schools and daycare centers.
A GOP bill that would have banned encampments near schools, daycares, parks and libraries statewide died in committee this year.