NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– Several guns have turned up in New York City schools in the last month, sparking a debate over security and metal detectors.
CBS2’s Magdalena Doris went to Mayor Bill de Blasio to get answers on what’s being done to keep children safe.
Since March 14, four guns and a knife have been found in city schools brought in by students as young as 11 years old.
“Just some facts for you, year-to-date major crimes in our schools are down 14.92 percent,” de Blasio said.
According to the NYPD, six guns have been recovered in schools this year compared to eight at this time last school year. But even one gun is too many.
“What do you say to concerned parents?” Doris asked the mayor.
“I say to them that NYPD and school safety are very focused on our schools and you can have a lot of trust in them because they’ve continually driven down crime in our schools,” de Blasio responded.
Gregory Floyd of Teamsters Local 237, representing school safety agents, said they need support.
“Yes, our school safety agents are doing a good job, but they need help. They need metal detectors, they need equipment to help them do their jobs,” Floyd said.
Each of these cases has a common denominator, none of the schools had metal detectors.
The NYPD said the first two guns recovered this year never made it inside the schools, they were caught by detectors.
“In every high school, there has to be metal detectors,” parent Yanira Pineda said.
The New York Civil Liberties Union said studies show otherwise.
“They’re not the most effective way to go to protect against violence. In fact, what you need is relationships,” said Donna Lieberman of the NYCLU.
So what is being done surrounding safety and children? The mayor said it’s ultimately up to the NYPD.
“If we think a school needs a metal detector or sometimes needs spot-checks, that’s also an option,” he said.
The Department of Education is working with the NYPD to develop a new safety plan to review the metal detector policy. There is no timeline on when it would go into effect.