Crime and Safety

NYC Public Schools See Crime Surge in 2022: Mayor’s Report

There were about 350 felonies at Big Apple schools last year, 95 of them in the last four months alone, according to new City Hall data.

The alarming statistics for fiscal year 2022 are approaching the pre-pandemic 2019, when 444 felonies were reported, the mayor’s leadership said in a preliminary report released this week.

There were 346 felonies in 2022, a significant increase from a year earlier, when there were just 85 cases at the height of the pandemic when schools were mostly closed.

Last year’s astonishing statistic was also well above the 288 incidents in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic overlapped three months.

The report says that between October and January, the number of felonies in public schools jumped to 95 from 72 during the same period in 2022.

The financial year in the city runs from 1 July to 30 June.

The NYPD defines seven major felonies as murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, grand larceny, and grand theft of a motor vehicle.

NYC Public Schools See Crime Surge in 2022: Mayor’s Report
The NYPD responds to the High School for Environmental Studies in Manhattan on May 20, 2022. The City Hall report indicated that 350 felonies occurred in city schools in fiscal year 2022.
Daniel William McKnight

The NYPD was unable to immediately provide data on what crimes were committed in schools.

But in 2022, The Post reported that since the return to face-to-face education, assaults and sex crimes have skyrocketed, and gun seizures in schools have risen by 80%.

These weapons often include items such as pepper spray and are used for self-defense. Schools Chancellor David Banks said the reason for this is that students are concerned about their safety near schools.

But one mom says the wave of crime in schools has been going on for years.

Weapons confiscated from NYC public schools are on display at NYPD headquarters on May 25, 2022.
Weapons confiscated from NYC public schools are on display at NYPD headquarters on May 25, 2022.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

“I’m not going to link this epidemic to the COVID pandemic and quarantine,” said Mona Davids, a high school parent, labor leader and head of the New York City School Safety Coalition.

“This has happened before. It started many years ago because a few years ago I testified before the city council and also at hearings in the state of New York about guns confiscated from schools and all that. But the exit from the lockdown and then the adoption of these criminal justice reforms just exploded.”

Next weekend, the coalition will host its first-ever Youth and School Safety Summit.

Davids said “the madness of the last two years” prompted the group to plan the event, talking about the rise in youth violence, especially near schools, where some students even came under fire.

Davids said the summit will include mothers who have lost their children to youth violence, representatives from violence prevention programs, and leaders of the NYPD’s safety schools and the city’s Department of Education.

According to the mayor’s report, which is published twice a year and details the activities of the city authorities, the increase in the number of incidents in the category of especially serious crimes was expected.

It said school felonies “remained within the expected pre-pandemic range in the first four months of fiscal year 2023.”

On Tuesday, parents at Russell Sage JHS in Forest Hills received a lockdown notice after police received a call about a possible firearm being found at the school. According to the police, it turned out to be an imitation of a firearm or air pistol that the 12-year-old boy had in his backpack.

Authorities said the student was taken into custody and then handed over to his parents at the request of the minor.

The recent spike in school crime following the pandemic is due to declining enrollment in the city’s public schools. Between the 2019 and 2022 school year, enrollment in schools run by the Ministry of Education fell by nearly 100,000 students.

In a recent interview with PIX11 about youth violence and talk of more school security agents, Banks said, “However, the answer in this situation is not really in additional school security agents.”

He continued, “It’s about the extra support we’re going to give to young people who just seem lost, not involved in what they really need.”

The percentage of students who feel safe in their schools has remained stable over the past three years, with 85% reporting this in 2022, according to the mayor’s report.

The Energy Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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