Mayor Eric Adams doubled down on his decisions to prioritize student and school safety using revolutionary new safety technology to prevent school violence and reiterated his commitment to ensuring safety for all schoolchildren in the city.
During a press conference on Feb. 23, Mayor Adams commented on his soon-to-be-announced plan for implementing a new security device for testing that allows law enforcement in a “humane way” to identify guns and weapons.
“If we see the need to make modifications, we are open to doing that,” said Adams during the press conference. “We must be smarter. I’m going to be rolling out in a few days a device that we are testing that allows us in a humane way to identify guns and weapons. Everyone is asking about this device, but we want to make sure we test it properly and we are currently in the process of testing it, and we are going to place it in schools so we can do a better job at identifying weapons.”
This announcement follows an incident at New York City Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies in Chelsea, Manhattan, where a student was apprehended with a backpack full of weapons.
Many families in schools across NYC have had serious concerns with student safety in schools – yet another fear to contend with as their children also are in-class sessions during a global pandemic.
In response to these concerns, the NYC Department of Education issued a statement on Feb. 3.
“Bullying has no place in our schools, and all incidents of bullying should be immediately reported to a caring adult at the school or through our online complaint portal,” the statement read. “Our schools must be sanctuaries for our young people as they grow academically and socially, and our school staff work hand-in-hand every day with outstanding School Safety Agents to provide safe, supportive environments for every student. We’ve instituted a range of measures to support the needs and safety of both students and the school community, including working with Youth Community Officers and hiring additional school aides, social workers and sub paraprofessionals.”
Even before his inauguration, Mayor Adams was adamant on prioritizing the safety of students in schools, saying he would up the ante on security measures to combat weapons on campus and violence.
“I was one of the few candidates that did not support removing school safety agents,” Adams said during the press conference Wednesday. “I’m a big believer in them, they serve a major role and if we feel the need to boost the numbers we are going to do so.”
Following this statement, Mayor Adams was asked about the possibility that students may be bringing weapons to school because they themselves don’t feel safe and feel the need to take their safety into their own hands.
In response to this, Mayor Adams said he found the notion of students bringing weapons to school on the basis of self-defense an unnecessary and unsafe move.
“I hear that often [students bringing weapons intended for self-defense], and I sat down with a group of rappers that were in the drill rap industry and they stated that many people are carrying guns because they feel afraid, and I said to them ‘that is not acceptable, I am not going to tolerate that, I am not going to reason you carrying a weapon just because you feel afraid.’ My job is to make [everybody] feel safe, but we are not going to give in to the belief that if we feel afraid that we are going to carry a gun.
Adams also teased some plans in development on how he plans to combat the fear of violence, while also ensuring that conflict never escalates to the point of physical harm in the first place.
“This is not a ‘do what you want’ city and country,” said Adams. “We are going to focus on making people feel safest in schools immediately, but also proactively with conflict resolution, creating environments in the schools which students can talk to each other and not feel they have to fight each other. There’s an indictment on our city when a child must carry a taser, a stun gun or a gun.”