Bullying and lax punishment may be to blame for a startling uptick in the number of knives confiscated from New York City school students this past academic year.
According to a NY Post analysis of new NYPD data, the number of weapons seized at city schools last year reached a five-year high, with the most glaring increase being knives. A total of 1,677 knives were confiscated from NYC students in the 2018-2019 school year, which is 92 percent higher than in 2015, when 873 knives were seized.
In total, 2,701 weapons were seized last year, according to the report. And of those weapons, 43 percent were caught by metal detectors, cops told the Post. Six guns were confiscated, down from a decade ago. Forty-four BB guns and 55 stun guns were taken this past school year.
Greg Floyd, president of the school safety agents’ union commented on the alarming statistics, telling the Post that students are likely bringing weapons to school because they know other students are also armed.
“Nothing has changed. The numbers keep rising year by year. This just means that more children are bringing knives to school because they know other kids are bringing knives to school,” Floyd said.
Bullying may also be a factor, he said.
“We remain hopeful that [Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza] will recognize that bullying is an integral part of school safety. Because if this isn’t truly addressed, kids are going to take matters into their own hands.”
A Department of Education spokesman told the Post that the spike in knife possession may be due to more metal detector scanning in schools. Unannounced pop-up metal detectors started showing up in schools two years ago. About 90 city schools have permanent metal detectors, as well.
“Our schools are safe and getting safer — overall weapons recovery, major crime and suspensions are down, and we’re proud of the progress we’re making,” DOE spokesman Will Mantell told the Post.
It’s not clear what consequences students face if they’re caught with a weapon in their possession. Metro reached out for a comment from the DOE, but did not immediately hear back.