By Susan Edelman | August 4, 2018 |
The number of weapons caught in NYC schools skyrocketed in the wake of a student’s stabbing death.
In the 2017-18 school year, the total weapons seized in city public schools increased by 28 percent over the prior year — from 2,119 to 2,718, the NYPD told The Post.
While the firearms found dropped from 10 to five, school personnel found kids with 1,551 knives, up from 1,176 — an alarming 32 percent increase.
In addition, confiscated box-cutters and razors rose from 607 to 771, a 27 percent jump.
The weapons cache piled up throughout a school year that started with a classroom killing at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx.
On Sept. 27, 2017, Abel Cedeno, an 18-year-old sophomore, pulled a switch blade out of his backpack and stabbed two boys, killing one of them, Matthew McCree, 15. Cedeno, who claimed he was bullied for his sexuality, told cops he was being mocked by classmates and snapped.
“The school year started off with a stabbing death, and the trend of bringing knives in continued,” said school safety-agent union chief Gregory Floyd, who has repeatedly called for more metal detectors.
“We need to stop listening to the people saying that students are treated like criminals, and start protecting the ones who are not criminals — which is most of them.”
In April 2017, a 16-year-old boy was stabbed in his side during a bloody melee inside John Browne High School in Flushing, Queens. Police recovered a folding knife.
Mona Davids, president of the NYC Parents Union, called on the DOE to investigate why kids arm themselves with potentially deadly weapons: “Some students may feel unsafe and bring knives to protect themselves,” she said.
Davids also blamed the weapons crisis on Mayor de Blasio for policies aimed at curbing student suspensions.
“Clearly the students know there are no consequences to bringing weapons to schools. They think they can get away with anything,” Davids said. “There should be zero-tolerance for bringing a knife to school.”
NYPD Assistant Chief Brian Conroy testified at a City Council hearing last November that kids caught with knives not considered illegal weapons — like a standard kitchen blade — are normally not arrested or issued summonses, but handed over to school administrators who discipline at their discretion.
Besides knives and blades, students brought in mace, pepper spray, and other “dangerous instruments” in 307 instances, up from 239 the year before, the NYPD data show.
Kids also came to school with 47 tasers or stun guns, up from 34 the prior year. BB guns dropped from 53 to 37.
The DOE would not discuss metal detectors, but said it has added police patrols and staff training where needed.
“Weapons have absolutely no place in our schools and we work in close partnership with the NYPD to ensure the safety of all school buildings,” said spokeswoman Toya Holness.