New York City School Parents, Activists Want to Remove Metal Detectors as Crime Numbers Drop

Those opposing the metal detectors at schools say they send a ‘terrible message’ to students and are discriminatory, while those that support the scanners say if they’re removed, children and faculty will be at risk.

NEW YORK — It’s been 13 years since a school shooting in a New York City school. Now, parent groups and advocates are saying it’s time for the city to remove the metal detectors protecting the schools.

The scanners — credited for the increase in school safety — were installed more than two decades ago and in light of low crime rates, Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union says the scanners are unneeded as a result of the low crime numbers and because they are discriminatory towards minority neighborhoods.

“Making students have to go through metal detectors to go to school sends a terrible message to students about where they are headed and how they are viewed,” Lieberman told ABC News.

Other parents and school safety agents are worried removing the scanners will put children at risk.

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“It’s very simple: If the scanners are taken away, then every day will be less safe for the students, faculty and school safety agents inside these schools,” said Gregory Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237.

Floyd added that more than 300 weapons — knives and BB guns included — have been confiscated by school safety agents since July.

Parents and activists opposing the metal detectors have reached out to Mayor Bill de Blasio to eliminate or reduce the metal detectors. Speaking at an unrelated event on Wednesday, de Blasio said safety “will always come first.”

“We know there are some schools that have become safer and principals have asked for consideration to remove metal detectors,” he said. “We are deliberative in anything we do related to metal detectors. It’s going to be a school-by-school examination of what’s going on.”

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