NYC Mayor Eric Adams held a briefing about school safety on Wednesday at a press conference at 1 Police Plaza, Lower Manhattan.
The briefing came after yesterday’s school shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left at least 19 children and two adults dead. The gunman was killed by police, according to local law enforcement officials.
During the briefing, Adams discussed the role the community and especially parents have in helping to prevent gun violence in schools, noting that kids are killing kids.
“19 children—19 babies—and two adults were killed by an 18-year-old. And, he injured his grandmother,” Adams said. “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those who were murdered, the pain is unimaginable. I can only imagine what it is like to get that call that your child was part of a mass shooting. We need so much more than thoughts and prayers.”
School Safety: How the Community and Parents Can Help
The mayor said 20 guns have been recovered in schools since the start of the school year in 2021. While the mayor said he is focusing on partnering with the police commissioner and other city agency officials to stop the spread of gun violence in schools, he added that parents need to be more involved, too.
“The police commissioner and I are focused on partnering with mental health professionals, our schools chancellor, and all those who are involved. But there’s a mission piece that is part of the solution. We want to mobilize parents. We want to ask parents to join us in this partnership of saving our children,” Adams said.
During the briefing, the mayor said parents can help keep kids safe by being involved, and observing and looking for signs that something could be wrong.
“Look in the rooms of your children. If you see an AK-47, something is wrong. If you see boxes of bullets, something is wrong. I’m going to be honest with parents. You must see what your children are doing. We want to have you as part of the solution so that guns won’t only the destroy the life of your child, but the life of a child in a school on this block.”
Adams also encouraged parents to talk with their children about anything they may have seen in school that could be a signal of gun violence.
“We’re asking parents to sit down tonight and have an honest conversation with their children to save the lives of their children,” Adams said. “If kids are getting involved with guns, we need to intervene and get involved right away. We can’t allow this cycle of violence and death to continue.”
NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks, who was also at the press conference, underscored Adams’ statements about parent and community involvement. He said there would be a meeting next week with union leaders to talk about safety measures in schools.
NYC Safety Statistics
The mayor discussed safety successes in NYC since last month:
- A decline of almost 30% in shootings for the month of April, continuing through May
- The anti-gun unit neighborhood safety teams are “precision policing, going after dangerous people,” the mayor said.
The mayor attributed this success to good police work.
“Police officers are doing their jobs,” Adams said. “You have to support the police. This anti-police belief is not what a majority of New Yorkers feel. The symbol of public safety rests in that blue uniform.”
More information about safety in New York City public schools can found at schools.nyc.gov. The site gives parents information about school security, weapons scanners, gang prevention and other topics pertaining to school safety.
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