At a time when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is on a quest for lengthy extension of mayoral school control — and desperately wants people to believe crime in schools has declined — a compromising new report has shed him and his administration in an unflattering light.
As it turns out, despite what the government claims, violence in schools has been on a rise.
From July 2015 to May 2016, school safety agents and police officers confiscated about 1,751 dangerous weapons, including loaded guns, meat cleavers, daggers and different knives, from schoolchildren. Last school year, NYPD had recovered about 1,394 weapons.
Interestingly, most of the arms were seized from schools with no metal detectors, according to the New York Post. However, instead of commending the unarmed security officials, the NYPD is threatening to dock their vacation days. Reason: the police want to keep the information secret. They don’t want parents to know what their kids are walking into everyday.
“If there’s no information to report, de Blasio can come out with his skewed numbers that crime is down and schools are safe, and parents don’t get a true picture of what’s going on,” Gregory Floyd, president of school safety agents union, told the Post. “We shouldn’t be in the secrecy business. We should be in the business of making sure weapons brought to school doesn’t happen.”
The authorities are trying to intimidate the agents and make an example out of them so that others would refrain from sharing the photos of the weapons with the media as well.
As for the role of New York City Schools, they have responded to the growing wave of violence by refusing to arrest or suspend these children — as it would undermine de Blasio administration’s claims of just how peaceful the schools are, critics claim.
“In many cases, the children aren’t arrested, so the crime statistics are down, but it’s just not being reported,” Floyd added, noting his disdain towards Department of Education’s new discipline that discourages student suspension after disorderly conduct, according to the Post.
In addition to that, the NYPD stats show only 40 percent of confiscated weapons came from school with metal detectors, while the rest were caught in schools unequipped with the technology.
The latest data has also alarmed a number of organizations about the growing bullying and violence in schools. A pro-charter school group, Families for Excellent Schools, recently filed a lawsuit against the city schools, voicing its fear that “more and more weapons are being brought into classrooms and endangering students.”
“It’s a cover-up, while putting the lives of our children and school staffs at risk,” said Mona Davids, president of the New York City Parents Union.
The report also cited a number of incidents where kids as young as 11 were caught flashing their weapons during a conflict with their peers.
Meanwhile, the NYPD has defended its rather disturbing actions with a statement.
“Members of the NYPD, whether uniformed or civilian, are subject to department guidelines in making any statements to the media,” a representative said. “Disseminating official photos of potential evidence must be approved by the public-information office.”