Monroe-Woodbury School officials announced Wednesday that schools will be closed Friday, Oct. 4. As many as 25,000 people were expected to gather together in Monroe on Friday for the funeral of New York City Police Officer Brian Mulkeen at Sacred Heart Church.
Mulkeen, a graduate of Monroe-Woodbury High school, died in the line of duty Sunday night trying to wrest a gun away from a suspect in the Bronx.
School Superintendent Elsie Rodriguez said Wednesday that authorities had asked the district Tuesday evening to delay the opening of school on Friday morning. The delay would not have affected school buses but there was no guarantee that teachers would be able to get through the traffic in time for class.
In a letter to parents posted early Wednesday afternoon, Rodriguez wrote:
‘After a series of conversations with NYC Police Department representatives, local law enforcement and elected officials, the school district will be closing all district buildings on Friday, October 4, while funeral services for NYC Police Officer and Monroe-Woodbury alumnus Brian Mulkeen are held in Monroe.
“More than 25,000 people are expected to attend the services, which will result in extensive road closures that will begin as early as 7 a.m. These closures are expected to impact travel for students and staff until late in the day. To ensure safe travel for all of our Monroe-Woodbury families and staff, we feel it is prudent to close all buildings. The Village of Monroe Police Department will be sharing traffic updates via their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MPDNY).”
The decision also means there will be no transportation for out of district students on October 4.
In a telephone interview, Rodriguez said she did not personally know Mulkeen. “He was in the high school by the time I joined the district 18 years ago,” said the former longtime Middle School principal.
But Rodriquez said she does know Mulkeen’s mother, Camille. “I consider her a role model,” the superintendent said, “as someone who cares for the kids here.”
Rodriquez closed her letter to parents with these thoughts: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Brian’s family and friends during this difficult time,” the superintendent added. “We, as a school community, mourn the loss of this remarkable young man. Thank you for your understanding as we navigate this unprecedented event.”