We depend on the support of readers like you to help keep our publication strong and independent. Join us.
All it took was one week of high schools to be open for in-person classes to show that Mayor de Blasio and City Council leaders were fooling the public—if not themselves—when they agreed nine months ago to transfer School Safety Agents out of Police Department jurisdiction.
Within that five-day period, 25 weapons were confiscated. This occurred while just 55,000 students came to class—with the remainder still instructed remotely—and when it figured that few new beefs had sprung up during the year in which they were not on school grounds.
Those seizures occurred with students aware that they encounter metal detectors and School Agents there to maintain safety and order. So imagine how bad things might get if—as a vocal youth-advocacy group is seeking, city officials went beyond the transfer out of the NYPD and scrapped metal detectors and school security personnel altogether.
Several mayoral candidates with some shot of succeeding Mr. de Blasio—Shaun Donovan, Dianne Morales and Maya Wiley—have come out in favor of police-free schools, claiming that replacing them with social workers and guidance counselors would improve both safety and the system's atmosphere. This is either a cynical bid for votes or a sign that they are as divorced from reality as the Mayor and Council Speaker Corey Johnson were when they agreed to the jurisdictional transfer as part of the budget deal last June 30.
Mr. de Blasio will have moved on by the time the changes begin, and Mr. Johnson hopes to be City Comptroller by next year. Before they go, they should reconsider the practical impact a transfer—or something worse—could have.