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NYC Mayor Adams on canceled school safety agent class: ‘We’re going to be leaning into parents’ | #schoolsaftey


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday that New York City parents might be called upon to help keep city schools safe after the administration cut the upcoming school safety agent class.

“We have to do a real evaluation on where do we have the high-need schools and we’re going to be leaning into parents and parent groups to do some volunteerism,” Adams said. “We’re going to lean into our crisis management team. We have to pull an all-hands-on-deck moment.”

Adams’ remarks came a day after Staten Island elected officials slammed the administration over the safety agent cuts. They argued needed programs and resources for New Yorkers should be first priority, and that the migrant crisis is diverting funds.

The mayor noted that there have been no shootings inside of New York City schools, crediting work by school safety agents and the NYPD. For New Yorkers who might be skeptical of how the city will move forward with fewer resources, Adams reassured citizens that he is “never going to allow” school safety to falter under his administration.

“But am I concerned that we’re going to drop and make schools unsafe for our children? I’m never going to allow that to happen,” said Adams. “But we are going to be straining at a very high level to get this done correctly.”

The Adams administration first broke the news of the safety agent class cancellation last week. Earlier this year, Adams called for billions in NYC budget cuts due to the cost of helping migrants. Adams said all city agencies would be forced to cut spending by 5% beginning in November — with more cuts possible in January and April.

Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy added, “Sadly, hard choices need to be made and this administration is making the hard choices.”

The school safety agents have a wide range of responsibilities, from greeting and signing-in visitors to operating metal detectors, responding to altercations, issuing arrests and even addressing student mental-health crises. They also help run and organize after-school activities.

In other serious situations, the agents also have a direct line to other NYPD units that could cut down on vital response time.

It was not immediately clear what parent volunteers would do to assist with safety as the mayor suggested.

Elected officials gathered in front of I.S. 2 to ask Mayor Adams publicly to restore the cancelled School Safety Agent Class. (Staten Island Advance/Shaina McLawrence)Shaina McLawrence

ELECTED OFFICIAL OPPOSE CUTS

Earlier in the week, Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R-East Shore/South Brooklyn) held a bipartisan press conference with Staten Island elected officials to condemn the administration’s recent cancellation of a 250-member safety agent class.

“First, it was diminished to 150 agents, and then it was canceled altogether,” said Tannousis.

The assemblyman went on to say that he believes the Adams administration chose the “worst possible time” to eliminate a class of brand-new school safety agents because of the possibility of terrorism since global conflicts have made New York City a target.

The bipartisan group brought together Monday by Tannousis included Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/South Brooklyn), Borough President Vito Fossella, District Attorney Michael McMahon, State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-South Shore), State Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton (D-North Shore/South Brooklyn), Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R-South Shore), Assemblyman Sam Pirozzolo (R-Mid-Island), City Councilwoman Kamillah Hanks (D-North Shore), City Councilman Joseph Borelli (R-South Shore) and City Councilman David Carr (R-Mid-Island), as well as Mona Davids, founder of the NYC School Safety Coalition, and John Ricottone, first vice president of community education for Council District 20.

In their pleas to Adams, the group of officials called for the Adams administration to “put United States citizens first,” by reinstating the class because it is a matter of “life or death.”

Malliotakis emphasized the need keep Staten Island children safe, calling the latest cut part of a “dangerous” trend of defunding critical resources.

“We are seeing a reduction of NYPD overall,’’ she said, noting fewer police officers on the streets and fewer detectives investigating crimes.

Malliotakis said there’s been a 25% reduction in school safety agents since 2020. According to the congresswoman, since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of school safety agents in the city fell by approximately 1,200 — with Staten Island bearing the brunt of the reductions.

The October stabbing of 13-year-old Syles Ular is proof of why school safety has become a life-or-death matter for New York City students, they said.



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