NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — School administrators and business owners met Monday to discuss community safety in the wake of three stabbing incidents involving high school students this month.
The most recent incident happened Jan. 18 when police say a 15-year-old New Rochelle High School student stabbed a 16-year-old in a second floor classroom twice in the side. Sources tell CBS2 the alleged attacker was himself attacked the day before at nearby Gemelli Pizzeria, where Monday’s meeting was held.
In recent weeks, many in the neighborhood said they have felt unsafe with large crowds of high schoolers usually taking over North Avenue restaurants during lunchtime.
“I just feel very unsafe walking around here. They’re all hectic, they’re not really controlled,” said Iona College student Lauren Hartman, who was eating at the pizzeria at the time of the stabbing. “It’s scary that can just happen anywhere in a public place at a restaurant.”
Just a week before that incident, 16-year-old Valeree Megan Schwab, a junior at New Rochelle High School, was killed in a dispute with other students at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.
“I couldn’t believe that high school students are doing stuff like that like right on the main street,” said Iona College student Josh Sosa.
As a result, city officials and business owners have joined forces in hopes of stop the violence.
“Their experience on North Avenue is something that’s important that we understand we also wanna review the safety protocols that the city and school district have together implemented in recent days to make sure we’re acting in a way that’s beneficial to the area,” New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said.
“It’s very important they listen to people on the streets and at the end of the day we’ll correct it,” business owner Anthony Marciano said.
Meanwhile, school officials have stepped up security on campus with uniformed officers on the property.
“Lots of security, it’s very tight. It’s kind of a lot tension between students in the hallways, everyone’s on edge and under a lot of pressure right now cause everyone’s like scared and traumatized I would say,” senior Glaci Sutherland said.
Students are also no longer allowed to leave school for lunch, and some diners said they see a difference.
“I feel more safe now and I mean it’s been a little quieter since that incident,” Sosa said.
But parents are still worried.
“I don’t feel that he’s safe in here cause three things happened already and you never know what’s going to happen next,” parent Giovana Sanchez said.
School officials also held several assemblies for the students Monday to discuss code of conduct and security measures.