Homeless tent blocks doorway of Whitman Middle School

A homeless tent has been set up in one of the entrance areas to Whitman Middle School, KIRO TV and MyNorthwest reported last night.

The school has been in spring break all week, and the tent has been set up since Tuesday, KIRO reported. School resumes on Monday.

A Seattle police officer arrived while KIRO was covering the story, but the tent’s occupant had left. It’s unclear if the tent remains today.

According to the city’s recently-updated unauthorized encampments rules (.pdf), the tent qualifies for removal because it “creates an obstruction” and is located at a school. But the rules require “notice shall be posted no fewer than 72 hours before an encampment removal.”

(Photo by KIRO’s Gary Horcher, @garyKIRO7 on Twitter)

18 comments on “Homeless tent blocks doorway of Whitman Middle School”

  1. That the police cannot remove any obstruction to an entrance/exit of a public school without prior 72 hour notice shows just how screwed up things have gotten in Seattle. Perhaps the orange tags for vehicles can be expanded to include anything on public property? What if they cannot find this person? Does the tent just sit there indefinitely? Will the school have to be closed by the Fire Marshall since the tent blocks a fire exit?

  2. We’ve jumped the shark, and Mike O’Brien has certainly been a key catalyst. Absolute madness.

  3. Hopefully this will set off a response from the NIMBY folks to help solve the homeless problem. The weather in California is much nicer for camping.

  4. frankly I’m more bothered by the snotty local kids that tagged the poor tree in front.

    did they issue the ‘gotta move in 72 hours’ notice so the tent will be gone by the time school starts?

    I heard Mike O’Brien actually snuck over here during the night and pitched this tent himself. he even wove a mannequin from some organic straw. if you look closely, those are pine needles, not hypodermic

  5. If my kid went to school there it would take a whole lot less than 72 hours for that tent to go away.

  6. The tent can be removed from the property immediately, per either the Seattle Fire Code or the City’s “Encampment” Ordinance. The property, however, is School District, not City property.

    EXITS: (Seattle Fire Code Chapters 3, 10)
    Remove the item(s) that would obstruct the exit or make exiting hazardous as follows: — appropriate text inserted — (15 SFC 1003.6 and 1031.3)

    4.0 REMOVING OBSTRUCTIONS AND IMMEDIATE HAZARD ENCAMPMENTS
    4.1 Obstructions and immediate hazard encampments may be removed immediately
    according to applicable laws and rules. The provisions of Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
    and 10 of this rule do not apply to removing obstructions and immediate hazard
    encampments. Provisions of this Section 4 apply to obstructions and immediate
    hazard encampments, although the provisions of this Section 4 may refer to
    obstructions only for simplicity. FAS ENCAMPMENT RULE 17-01 Page 3 of 7

  7. I hope this is the last straw and we wise up and take all homeless into custody. Not for breaking a law, but for living in an unacceptable manner. We take minors living in squalor into custody, do the same for adults.

  8. The city council voted in this ordinance, brought to you by Kashama Sawant, Mike Obrien, and Kirsten Harris-Talley. If you voted for any of these three, then you are part of the problem.

  9. @Chuck — If anyone on this thread voted for Harris-Talley then something is VERY wrong because she was appointed.

  10. I think it’s time Seattle voters demanded that our “leaders” live in tents among the people.
    They are devoted to equality, right?

  11. Still waiting for the proverbial straw to break the camel’s back…

  12. MCBallard-

    Some prominent figure or relative to a council member is going to have to die for things to change. Alternatively, a homeless encampment would need to burns down I-5.

    By September, its going to be horrible in Seattle.

  13. “O’Brien actually snuck over here during the night and pitched this tent himself. ”

    He’s have to have a pen1s and balls to do that.

  14. The law is ridiculously lenient. It should be changed to allow immediate removal without any warning or any storage of belongings in a situation like this or when encampments are near freeways and roads that have no way to access without walking on the roadway.

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