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Focusing on public safety before first day of school in NYC | #schoolsaftey


Students return to public schools next Thursday, and schools were the focus of City Hall’s weekly public safety briefing.

“If you start a school year hoping everything is going to be smooth without any bumps in the road, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment,” Mayor Eric Adams said at the briefing on Friday.


What You Need To Know

  • The system will require visitors, including parents, to ring a bell outside the locked front door of a school
  • The city began installing the systems in elementary schools this summer, and they’ll be in place at 744 schools by the spring
  • Most high-profile violent incidents involving students in recent years have happened outside of schools

There will be plenty of challenges for the city’s public schools this year, but top of mind was the challenge of keeping children safe at a time when schools across the nation have seen mass shootings.

“We are proud that we have not had that, knock on wood, but beyond knocking on wood you’ve got to prepare, and you work hard and you communicate and one of the things that we’re doing is we’re launching our door locking system,” New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks said at the briefing.

The system will require visitors, including parents, to ring a bell outside the locked front door of a school.

A school safety agent will be able to see and speak to them via camera, and buzz them inside if they have business at the school.

The city began installing the systems in elementary schools this summer, and they’ll be in place at 744 schools by the spring.

“By this spring, we will have completed this work for all of our elementary schools and then we will begin the work for our middle schools and our high schools,” Banks said.

Most high-profile violent incidents involving students in recent years have happened outside of schools — often around dismissal.

Banks says principals are regularly meeting local precinct commanders to flag concerns and trouble spots.

“We’re not trying to militarize our schools, and we’re not doing that. We’re not trying to over police our schools and we’re not doing that,” Banks said. “But what we are doing, at the behest of our mayor, is enhance the communication.”

One other bump in the road is the potential for a strike by school bus drivers. Banks says negotiations are ongoing.

“We are not the direct party involved here. What you have is the union. The ATU Local 1181 is in negotiations with the various bus vendors. We contract with those vendors. So the negotiation is essentially between them,” he said. “We’re at the table. We’re trying to be as helpful as we can possibly be. I’m still hopeful that we can avert a strike.”

But they’ve already begun preparing for one, Banks says, making parents aware of alternatives like MetroCards and prepaid rideshares that would be available if drivers do strike. 



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