NEW YORK (PIX11) — The number of weapons found inside New York City public schools has nearly doubled so far this school year compared to the same period the last year, officials said.
Just over 1,500 weapons have been found. Most of them are knives. There’s been a drop in the number of guns recovered with five found so far this year compared to eight in the same period last year, according to the NYPD.
In the latest incident, a 16-year-old boy was allegedly caught with a loaded gun and a knife at a Queens high school Monday morning. The city had metal detectors in place on Tuesday as students entered the school building. Eleventh grade student Jazmin Reyes said she needed to take off her felt and jacket. She needed to remove all the coins in her pockets and put her phone in her bag.
“They scream at you,” the teen said. “It was uncomfortable, it was horrible.”
So was Monday’s incident.
“When I found out, I was terrified. I called my mom and I actually thought that I was going to die because we didn’t know if they caught him or not until the very, very last period. So I was telling my mom that I loved her,” the teen said.
While there are some students calling for metal detectors in all New York City schools, the Dignity in Schools Campaign New York, focused on healing centered schools, is advocating for the removal of metal detectors and calling for more social workers.
This past May, the mayor announced roving metal detectors at schools seeing increased shootings and violence among students.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said, “at the center of all we do is student safety and wellbeing. We are fully committed to creating a safe environment for our kids, which includes a strict policy regarding dangerous items. Weapons are unequivocally prohibited in our buildings. We work closely with all of our partners, including NYPD’s school safety agents, to keep our classrooms safe. Every school building is staffed by school safety agents who have a direct line to the local precinct, all doors in our school buildings aside from main entrances are locked and alarmed, and we recently announced the launch of project pivot, designed to provide critical social and academic interventions to young New Yorkers. All of this work begins in the community, however, and we encourage everyone to reinforce safety messages with their students, including emphasizing the importance of telling a trusted adult when they see or hear something that could affect campus safety.”