NYC Schools Chancellor: Students Carrying More Weapons for Safety Reasons - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, June 30, 2022

NYC Schools Chancellor: Students Carrying More Weapons for Safety Reasons

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While no one can argue that the rise in crime in New York City remains the top priority of City Hall, the situation in schools is no better.

The New York Post revealed that since in-person classes for New York City students returned in the fall of 2021, more than 4700 weapons have been recovered, according to police data released on Wednesday.

School officials said that over half the weapons recovered amongst students included knives and pepper spray and that students may be carrying these weapons because they fear that violence amongst their contemporaries may erupt after dismissal.

The Post reported that when addressing a town hall meeting in Queens, New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks said: “Even in our schools that have not had — up until now — any significant issues, they’re expressing all kinds of anxiety because there are issues happening outside of the schools.

On Tuesday night, Banks told families: “The kids bring in weapons, but they’re not bringing it to use it on their classmates in school. They’re concerned about what’s happening two blocks away from the school.”

So far this school year, the Post reported that close to 1,400 pepper sprays have been recovered so far this school year, compared to 186 all last year — though classes were at times remote then due to the pandemic. Knives under four inches have accounted for more than 1,100 recoveries since the fall, but just 774 last school year.”

Moreover, 16 guns were recovered, including two firearms. Five guns were recovered last school year, according to the Post report.

This school year, the Post reported that tasers have been the weapon of choice amongst students as 416 were confiscated this school year. Last year 42 were discovered. Reports from school safety agents reveal that they are seeing students carrying more metal knuckles this year as opposed to past years. The Post reported that the number has risen from 18 in 2020-21 to 104 in 2021-22

Maspeth High School in Elmhurst, Queens was placed on lockdown on Wednesday when a student was shot across the street from the school, the Post reported.

Also addressing parents in Queens on Wednesday was Mark Rampersant, security director at the Department of Education. The Post reported that he said that Banks, Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell are in “lockstep” to ensure students throughout the school system are safe.

He said a second class of 250 school safety agents under the Adams administration are already in training, according to the Post report.

Banks, a former school safety officer, told families he grew up in a “police house” — his father was part of the NYPD for almost three decades, and his brother is the deputy mayor for public safety.

The chancellor, who acknowledged he’s met with groups who want fewer officers in school, said “I for one value them tremendously.”

“You can’t learn if you’re not safe,” Banks said.

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