Letter to the Editor: Coverage of Kingsbury School omitted key issues

LAMB is seeking zoning approval to move to Kingsbury’s campus at 5000 14th St. NW. (Brian Kapur/The Current/November 2017)

The Current’s Dec. 6 article “Charter aims to consolidate at Kingsbury” is a press release for Latin American Montessori Bilingual, the besmirched public charter school, where two weeks ago a teacher was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to child sexual abuse.

The one-sentence mention of Board of Zoning Adjustment approval being required does not say why the school needed to apply for a special exception to operate on the Kingsbury School campus at 5000 14th St. NW, and that’s important. It’s a residential property, and Kingsbury applied in 2000 for a special exception to operate there. Approval was granted with conditions, which Kingsbury never met, for a student population not to exceed 300. After 17 years, the school never came close to the authorized enrollment. In 2008, the Zoning Commission included the site in an extension of the existing Sixteenth Street Heights Overlay, which established additional protections.

The article did include comments from two neighbors that showed Latin American Montessori Bilingual’s disrespect for its immediate neighbors, including a public school across the street, and a lack of integrity in the process. However, your reporter made no mention of the Committee of Neighbors Directly Impacted by LAMB Application (CNDI-LA), a party to the case.

Months of discussions with neighbors did not include CNDI-LA members, who were not notified until the end of August. Yet we are supposed to accept that adding 600 students to this neighborhood is OK?

Taalib-Din Uqdah, Committee of Neighbors Directly Impacted by LAMB Application