NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday called for new drills and unannounced weapons checks in New York City schools, one day after a Bronx student was arrested for allegedly threatening to shoot up the school.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, de Blasio has never been much of a fan of weapons scanners in schools –- saying it stigmatizes students. But in the wake of the Parkland, Florida massacre, there are going to be a lot of them.
“What we’re going to be doing in high schools and middle schools is unannounced scanning,” de Blasio said. “They will come in for a day with no prior notification, do that scanning, pull it out, go elsewhere, come back around over time.”
In the wake of the Florida school massacre – in which 17 students and teachers were gunned down in cold blood – Mayor de Blasio ordered police and school officials to protect New York City’s 1.1 million city public school students.
“I take this very, very personally,” de Blasio said. “Those could be my own kids in the classrooms.”
The mayor and schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña are also giving all 1,800 schools until March 15 to do new lockdown drills. Active shooter training rooms will be locked, lights will be off, and everyone will be quiet and out of sight.
“The full force of the NYPD is being applied to protect our schools,” de Blasio said.
The mayor on Thursday applauded the NYPD counterterrorism police work that led to the arrest of a 15-year-old student at the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics, who used a social media post to say he was sick of being bullied and would get a gun to “take care of things at school.”
The post was eerily similar to social media posts by Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz, who said on social media that he planned to become a “professional school shooter.” He also posted Instagram pictures of himself with guns.
The mayor stopped short of ordering more armed officers in schools as some have asked for.
Kramer: “I’m wondering if there are other steps that could be taken. Some people have said, you know, cops in every school.”
De Blasio: “The NYPD are the experts in security. I want them to come back and say, ‘What’s the best way to handle this?’”
NYPD sources said there has been no discussion of putting armed officers in schools on a permanent basis. If there is a specific threat, armed officers are posted at the school until the threat is abated.
Parents reacted to de Blasio’s plan Thursday.
“There should be more drills,” one woman said.
“We have to find ways for our children to remain safe and keep living their lives normally,” said Gina Vidal of Washington Heights.
The mayor said it is important for parents and students to be part of the solution – so as the old adage goes, if you see something, say something. If you see a suspicious social media post, report it.