NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An increase in the number of weapons found in classrooms across the city, has prompted questions for Mayor Bill de Blasio, a week after a student was killed in school.
Metal detectors were wheeled into a Bronx school last week, the day after two students were stabbed — one fatally.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer explained, de Blasio doesn’t want that to be the norm in New York City schools.
“Do we aspire to a society where every kid has to go through a metal detectors to go to school? No,” the mayor said.
Still, there has been a steady drum beat from parents and from union officials worried about the growing number of weapons that are turning up in school.
Shame faced police officials reported that in the current school year there has been a startling 48 percent increase in the number of weapons they’ve confiscated.
There were 328 found from July 1 to September 30, compared to 222 for the same period last year.
“Have a metal detector, know what they are bringing in to school, this don’t make no sense, you got to worry about your kid,” Rita Taylor said.
“It wasn’t until someone was killed they got metal detectors,” Uneek Valentin said.
CBS2’s Kramer demanded answers from Mayor de Blasio about why only some 88 of the city’s 1,800 schools currently have metal detectors also known as magnatometers.
“I’m not opposed to them, I think it has to be a decision based on the decision of the NYPD,” he said. “My belief is the ultimate security experts in New York City is the NYPD, they run school safety.”
The mayor said he won’t tell police what to do, but is instead leaving it to their judgement.
Admittedly, there are some against more metal detectors. They feel it can stigmatize students, and make them feel they are not trusted.
In a post 9/11 world, people routinely face increased security with magnatometers in airports and at city hall.
“It’s a different reality than a young person going to school, and all I’m saying is, do we aspire to it, is our goal a metal detector in every school? No, we want a decision to be made based on a specific reality of that school,” the mayor said. “If the NYPD ever says to me, we need to put a metal detector in, we’re going to put it in.”
The mayor said the NYPD has the ability to do random security checks and move the scanners from school to school.
Police officials said they’ve been able to find weapons without scanners, often students worried about their safety report those who bring guns and knives into the classroom.