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Teachers: Dewey H.S. security lax

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) acknowledged that some of the school safety agents assigned to Dewey were absent for several days in recent weeks.

By Michèle De Meglio

Security was lax at Dewey High School in the weeks leading up to last month's gun scare, according to teachers.

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) acknowledged that some of the school safety agents assigned to Dewey were absent for several days in recent weeks.

“Teachers at Dewey have complained about a high rate of absenteeism among safety agents,” said a UFT spokesperson. “We've heard that some security agents have been out. I don't know if they've been out on sick leave, vacation or what. But we did hear that some agents had missed a few days.”

The idea of a limited security staff appears troubling since a student allegedly brought a gun into the school on March 27. The school remained under lockdown for several hours as police searched the building, located inside a sprawling campus at 50 Avenue X, for the weapon.

The student, who is under 16, was ultimately apprehended the following Monday, but no weapon was found, officials said.

Since the lockdown, the Department of Education has begun “wanding” students with portable metal detectors, but said that there are no current plans to install metal detectors at the entrances as this paper went to press.

Assemblymember William Colton says there may not be enough safety agents assigned to Dewey.

“The school apparently has nine security officers and it's not enough to properly patrol the school,” he said.

“Because of the size of the campus and the dimensions of the campus that John Dewey is, at least three or four or five officers are in booths where the entrances [to the building] are,” Colton explained.

“There's not enough security officers that are actually able to move around the school and patrol the school and that's one of the problems they face there,” he added.

A source from the school said that while the school appears to have a full complement of school security guards, at least two of the female guards are pregnant and have to take time off to go to doctors appointments.

“Most of the guards treat everything with a lackadaisical attitude,” the source said, inferring that it's this attitude inspiring kids to try to get away with more and more shenanigans.

Since school security officers are supervised by its own division at 1 Police Plaza, not at the local precinct, all calls about staffing at Dewey High School were referred to the NYPD press office.

Questions about school security guard staffing at Dewey High School were not returned as this paper went to press.

-with Tom Tracy

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