A 15-year-old student was discovered with a loaded gun in his backpack during the first day of classes at the Brooklyn School for Career Development in Clinton Hill, the Daily News reports. He put his backpack through the metal detector at his school's entrance, which is probably the most efficient way to get caught with weapons in your bag.
School safety agents found a loaded .22 caliber pistol in the bag, the NYPD said. The student was taken to the 88th precinct station house for questioning, but charges against him are still pending.
Elsewhere in Brooklyn, a 16-year-old student was allegedly found with a knife at the Transit Tech Career and Technical Education High School in East New York. His weapon was also detected by scanners at the school's entrance. School officials declined to comment on the situation, and the NYPD was unable to confirm whether the student has received any charges.
Earlier this year, de Blasio announced new initiatives to make city schools "safer, fairer, and more transparent," including an updated policy that establishes a protocol for the removal of metal detectors from certain schools. The DOE and NYPD will review individual school safety data and work with school officials to determine whether metal detectors should be removed, added, or used part-time at each school.
Gregory Floyd, president of Local 237, a union which represents school safety officers, said these incidents prove the city needs to increase safety standards in public schools.
"First day, first gun," Floyd told the News. "Why would de Blasio want to remove scanners from schools? It's crazy."
"This incident is deeply troubling and we are working in close partnership with the NYPD as they conduct an investigation," Department of Education spokesperson Toya Holness told Gothamist. "The NYPD immediately responded and safely confiscated the weapon. Safety always comes first and there is zero tolerance for weapons of any kind in schools." Holness also pointed out that the city is not removing scanners from all schools, and is in fact adding scanners to others.
Some proponents of removing metal detectors, including the New York Civil Liberties Union, argue that the over-policing of schools, including requiring students to pass through scanners, intensifies the school-to-prison pipeline, the funneling of students out of public schools and into the criminal justice system.