A group of about 20 moms showed up with signs in front of Huntington Town Hall on Thursday morning hoping to pressure local officials to move students from Jack Abrams Intermediate School, which has been the center of a debate about the surrounding neighborhood’s safety, to town hall.

The rally, which started at 10:30 a.m. and ran about an hour, follows the 4-3 Huntington School District board vote on Monday to create a sixth-grade center at Jack Abrams and move fourth- and fifth-graders to the district’s other intermediate school, Woodhull.

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“We’re hoping town hall will swap with Jack Abrams,” said Huntington resident Jennifer Petrozzo, who had two children go through the district and has another two slated to go to Jack Abrams. “We don’t think the children are safe there, and our kids are scared. If town hall is there, they can really clean up the neighborhood.”

On Tuesday, school board President Bill Dwyer defended the plan for the sixth-grade center as a solution that will unify the district.

Here’s what he had to say in a Newsday story:

"I think you are going to find a lot more people getting more involved," Dwyer said, "being much more interested now that they have a stake in that community."

Jennifer Petrozzo, front, and a group of Huntington School District moms rally outside town hall to push for Jack Abrams Intermediate students to move to the building. (Newsday Photo / Deborah Morris  /April 22, 2010)