A discussion to find solutions to overcrowding in downtown New York City left some parents uneasy last week.

New York Schools Chancellor Cathie Black lightheartedly stated that one simple way to end the problem of overcrowding in lower Manhatten was with birth control.

“Could we just have some birth control for a while?” Black said at an overcrowding task force meeting. “It would really help us.”

However, Manhattan parents are not laughing.

“I always cringe when I hear that (joke),” Public School 234 parent Tricia Joyce told NYDailyNews. “I understand the temptation to joke about it. But our situation isn’t funny anymore.”

The overcrowding issue, parents and agencies claim, is due to the city’s incentives to developers to build in the area without the consideration of the need of increase for school seats. Movement downtown to revitalize the region in New York City, which was devastated after the September 11 attacks, has led to a doubling in population size and a shortage in classroom seats.

Spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz claimed that Black’s joke was not meant to be offensive.

“Chancellor Black takes the issue of overcrowding very seriously, which is why she was engaged in a discussion with lower Manhattan parents on the subject,” Ravitz said. “She regrets if she left a different impression by making an off-handed joke in the course of that conversation.”

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