Parents are lamenting what they describe as a culture of bullying at a Bronx school where 15-year-old Matthew McCree was stabbed to death on Wednesday morning, during a third period history class. The alleged killer, 18-year-old Abel Cedeno, has since told police that he was bullied for weeks by various students, though not McCree specifically.

Amy Alvarez, a 44-year-old mother of four, runs a local daycare and after-school center near the campus where the stabbings occurred, which is located at 2024 Mohegan Avenue in West Farms and includes both Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, a middle and high school, and P.S. 67, an elementary school.

Alvarez has picked up P.S. 67 students at the campus daily for the last four years, and told Gothamist that she has witnessed numerous instances of bullying outside the building by students of all ages. The stabbing took place in a fifth floor room used by the upper school.

"My sons don't attend the school because of safety reasons," she said. "Because I don't want them to be targets of bullying and because I know they [school administrators] don't take care of the bullying the way they are supposed to."

Alvarez used Facebook Live to document the scene outside the campus Wednesday. In the video, she asks for politicians to pay closer attention to the campus. More funding is needed as well, she said Thursday.

"These kids are getting beat up and jumped right outside of school. These things happening often," said Jeannette Martinez, 47, the mother of a 9th grader and a 12th grader, standing outside Urban Assembly on Thursday.

Cedeno is also accused of stabbing 16-year-old Ariane Laboy on Wednesday, court papers show. Police said Thursday that McCree and Laboy were throwing paper and pencils at Cedeno before he pulled out a three-inch switchblade and stabbed them both in the chest. There were roughly 20 students in the classroom at the time, according to police.

"It was teasing from other students, not these two. That's important," Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. "Prior to this, it was verbal harassment."

"As far as I know [Cedeno] did not reach out to anyone in the school" for guidance, he added.

Savannah Hornback, a spokeswoman for Cedeno's family, told DNAInfo that the teen was mocked with racist and homophobic slurs, including "faggot" and "spic."

Cedeno said that he bought the switchblade online two weeks ago, according to police.

"People think that bullying is just hurting physically," Alvarez said. "No. Bullying is also verbal. Sometimes verbal abuse is worse than physical abuse. This is all around. This is all age groups."

(Amir Levy/Gothamist)

After Wednesday's fatal stabbing, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the high school would commence "random screening, done with metal detectors" on the campus. Screening was already underway on Thursday morning, according to the NYPD.

"We did not see any prior reason why we should have scanning at that school," NYPD School Safety Chief Brian Conroy told reporters.

A woman who answered the main office line at Urban Assembly Wednesday told Gothamist, "Let me cut you off right now: we are not answering any calls from reporters."

Schools with scanners undergo an annual assessment according to guidelines released jointly by the NYPD and Department of Education in 2016, the NY Times reports. There are currently 88 school buildings with full or part-time metal detectors, and eight with scanners, city-wide.

"The downside is that these kids are being taught that they can't be trusted," said Alvarez, of the scanners. "These kids are being taught that, 'You are violent and I am scared of you.'"

"At this point, right now, it's the best thing for the school," she added.

Cedeno has been assigned to attorney Deborah Rush with the Legal Aid Society.

"We are currently meeting with our client and his family and reviewing the facts and circumstances of this case including the long history of bullying and intimidation Abel has endured," the organization said in a statement.

Cedeno's mother is currently in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, according to the NYPD. Police are communicating with his older brother.

"We take reports of bullying extremely seriously and have explicit protocols and robust training programs in place to ensure harassment, discrimination or bullying of any kind is immediately reported, investigated and addressed," said Department of Education spokeswoman Toya Holness.

McCree's stepfather, 34-year-old Kyle Victor, told DNAInfo Thursday that the teen "was very loving. [...] A 15-year-old [has] emotions and hormones running around, but he's in no way bad."

"If the kid didn't die [the bullying] would have been kept a secret," predicted Uneek Valentin, the mother of a 17-year-old student, on Thursday. She added that her son has been bullied in the past at Urban Assembly: "I talk to the principal last year about the fighting but nothing came of it."

"They're not giving us any information about what is happening at the school," Valentin added. "We have to learn through news outlets and other people at the school."

Valentin shared a text message from her son sent from inside the school on Wednesday. "Mom if you don't hear from me today i just wanna say i love you and thank you for making my childhood great," it reads. "Theres a hard lock down today someone got stab there was blood on the floor."

Additional reporting by Clifford Michel.