NYC Public Schools: 4 Students Hurt in 3 Knife Fights in Same Day

Metal detectors were installed at Manhattan's High School of Graphic Communication Arts the day after a knife fight.
Published: May 15, 2024

NEW YORK CITY — Four New York City students were injured in knife fights at three different public high schools on Tuesday.

NYPD said an 18-year-old was leaving Queens High School of Teaching when he was ambushed by a group of teens, PIX 11 reports. He was stabbed once in the back and twice in the left arm. The victim was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

At the Evander Childs Campus in the Bronx, a 15-year-old student was slashed by a 17-year-old student. A source told PIX 11 that the incident was gang-related, and the attacker used a scalpel to slash the other student’s neck.

In Manhattan, two teens, ages 15 and 17, attacked each other on the fourth floor of the High School of Graphic Communication Arts. One was stabbed in the chest and the other was slashed in the face. Both were taken to the hospital for treatment, and the teen who was stabbed in the chest was in serious condition. The school was placed in lockdown.

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“The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. Violence has absolutely no place in our schools, and this behavior is unacceptable,” Jenna Lyle, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Education, wrote in a statement following the incident. “Our outstanding school staff and NYPD School Safety Agents immediately responded to an incident between students at the school, and the school was placed under a soft lockdown, which has now been lifted.”

Metal Detectors in NYC Schools

Two of the three schools where students were injured Tuesday do not have metal detectors. By Wednesday morning, four metal detector machines were set up at the Manhattan campus, which houses multiple schools and grade levels.

Greg Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237, representing NYC school safety agents, told PIX11 that he expects the violence to escalate into summer.

“This is not isolated, it’s an epidemic,” he said. “Whether people like it or not, there should be metal detectors in the schools. Metal detectors are a proven way of making schools safer than they are.

According to NYPD School Safety Division data, blades seized in NYC public schools increased by 7% in 2023. Scanners were responsible for finding 56% of weapons smuggled into schools last year, NY Post reports. From the start of the 2023 school year through Dec. 6, police and school safety agents recovered 1,088 knives and 260 boxcutters, surprising the 1,004 knives and 252 boxcutters seized during the same period the year before.

Last month, the NYPD announced it was replacing existing metal detectors in nearly 80 schools with new scanners from CEIA at a cost of roughly $3.9 million.

An additional nine schools received new devices for random scanning on select days, an NYPD spokesperson said. Some schools in the city are randomly selected for scanning throughout the year, or scanning may occur at a particular school when there is reason to believe that there is a threat to the safety of the community, according to the DOE. The decision to install metal detectors is made by each school leadership team.

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