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Bryant, AR  72089-0296
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Students are Concerned

In the wake of a School Shooting


  New York, New York

   Tues - January 16, 2002

Let's Stop the violence! 

    See how KEYS can help!!

NEW 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. 


  "School Shooting Map

Police entering Martin Luther King Jr. High School after school shooting on January 16, 2001

In 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 as that."

"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 guards.

"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 those doors,"

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 address it."

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 needed.

"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 teachers' union.

Once again we ask ourselves, "Have we done all that we can to insure the safety of our schools?" Keys To Safer is making a special offer to any school to review your crisis planning and provide a written critique of any shortcomings found. To take advantage of this offer, mail your school’s Crisis Plan and supporting documents to:

Keys To Safer
P.O. Box 296
Bryant, AR 72089-0296.

Visit the Keys website for valuable information and resource material on school violence prevention at

Programs to Combat Violence

Reported By:
Frank Green
Keys To Safer

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