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Farmingdale High School targets loitering

Farmingdale school district officials said they are taking steps to discourage bawdy, brawling teenagers from loitering around homes and speeding through streets near Farmingdale High School.

A seven-member committee of residents, school officials and Nassau County police decided on "changes that we're going to make to the facilities," district assistant superintendent of business Paul Defendini said Monday.

The committee was formed in May when about 30 neighbors attended a school board meeting to complain that partying teenagers have for years overrun their blocks.

Defendini said the district last week finished erecting a gate at the student parking lot to keep kids out after hours. He said the district has completed "privacy screening" on a fence between the high school and an adjacent home and will continue putting up security cameras.

The district will also post signs about the cameras and re-evaluate progress before school begins in the fall, Defendini said.

"We know the work is not done," he said. "We're making the changes as needed in order to be good neighbors."

Nick Diaz, 44, a resident who attended school board meetings seeking a solution to something he said threatens the safety of the neighborhood, said he is a member of the committee but added it has met only once -- on May 22 -- and amounted to a "dog and pony show."

District officials are looking only to placate residents and have been condescending about their concerns, he said. "They're doing the least amount that they could possibly do at this point," he said.

Meanwhile, with the school year drawing to a close, Diaz said the problem will worsen. "It's summertime," he said. "Everybody's hanging out."

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