YORK, New York, Jan. 16, 2002: In the wake of a shooting inside their
school, students express concern about the level of safety afforded them by
those in authority.
the wake of the Jan 15, 2002 school shooting, students
express their concern.
New York, NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 2002: "There's
a lack of security, that's the problem with this school," said senior
Sabrena Pringle, 17, the student body president. "A student goes in,
gets scanned, opens up a side door, lets another student in. It's as simple
"I'm aware of that and we've been working on
it," Schools Chancellor Harold Levy told reporters. He said,
"Security is an issue in this school."
Students at the high school near Lincoln Center where two
teen-agers were shot in a hallway last Tuesday said it was easy to bring
guns inside, despite metal detectors at the entrance. Kids pass through
metal detectors each morning at the student entrance on the north side of
the school, but several students said their peers sneak weapons in through
doors that are locked from the outside and are not manned by security
"They need guards at all the doors," said
freshman Kelvin Filpo, 15, shortly after his mother showed up at the school
in tears. "The school usually feels safe, but they have to take care of
Rosemary Ganpot, PTA president, said she has never been
concerned for her 10th-grade son's safety at the school, located on
Amsterdam Avenue between 65th and 66th streets, but she said the issue would
take top priority at a PTA meeting Thursday evening. "I don't feel
there's a safety concern, but if one student says there is, we need to
According to Police Department statistics there have been
10 cases of weapons possession this year at the school, double the number
for the same period last year.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said more security guards would be
assigned to the school. Thirteen security guards and two police officers
patrol the school and its 3,000 students. Some students think more are
"I'm upset because, as student body president, I have
begged for more security and we have been denied," Pringle said.
"Not everyone feels safe."
Andrel Napper, 17, and Andre Wilkins, 18, were shot from
behind on the fourth floor of the high school during the last period of the
school day, authorities said. One teen was shot in the upper left part of
his back and the other shot in the upper left buttocks, officials said. The
weapon, a .380-caliber handgun, was recovered on the school's fifth floor,
along with three shell casings, said police Chief of Patrol William Morange.
Jovan Espinoza, 18 was arrested outside the school but it was unclear if he
was a suspect in the shooting, which authorities said may have stemmed from
a dispute about a girl. The school was locked down for more than an hour
after the 1:55 p.m. shooting, with students kept in their classrooms as
police swept the building.
The shootings, at Martin Luther King High, occurred on
what would have been the 73rd birthday of the Upper West Side public high
school's nonviolent namesake. It was the first shooting inside a city public
school since September 1994, according to Ron Davis, spokesman for the
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