Security beefed up at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside after slashing — but some say it’s not enough

A police official walks past students outside of Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside during the Dec. 11 lockdown.
Photo: Mark Hallum/QNS

Following the slashing at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside, the school and Department of Education (DOE) are taking extra precautions for enhanced safety.

But some believe that more should be done to keep one of Queens’ best public high schools safe.

Sources familiar with Cardozo High School told QNS on Dec. 12 that students and staff went through metal detectors that morning as an additional safety measure in light of the incident that led to a 2 1/2-hour lockdown.

The attack transpired on Dec. 11 when the 15-year-old suspect confronted the 14-year-old victim and engaged in a verbal dispute. The suspect produced an “unidentified sharp object” and slashed the student in the head.

According to an official statement from the school, the NYPD conducted an investigation on Tuesday and administrators said they were “taking additional safety measures at the school.”

“Our Guidance Counselors, along with our Community Based Mental Health Agency will be providing support and guidance to the entire school community,” the school statement noted. “We assure you that every precaution was taken and will continue to be taken to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”

Miranda Bardot, a Department of Education spokesperson, acknowledged in a statement released shortly after the Dec. 11 lockdown that additional security measures would be taken.

At a gun violence town hall earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that only 90 schools of the city’s more than 1,000 have full-time metal detectors. Gregory Floyd, president of the School Safety Agents Union, told the Daily News that Benjamin Cardozo is one of the high schools that do not have metal detectors in their facilities.

All other DOE public middle and high schools are subject to unannounced scannings throughout the year, according to New York City law. Schools may also be chosen for random scanning when there is a reasonable threat to the safety of the community.

But Floyd thinks that these random scannings are not enough and have called for permanent metal detectors in more schools.

In an open letter to the mayor, Floyd advocated for the use of metal detectors in all public high schools. He penned the letter following a stabbing in a Bronx high school in Sept. 2017.

“The Mayor, the Chancellor and the Civil Liberties Union have been chief proponents of lessening the use of metal detectors based on the theory that they create a punitive environment that impedes learning,” Floyd wrote in the letter.

He added that the de Blasio Administration established an “educational task force” which recommended that school safety personnel should not intervene in behaviors like disorderly conduct, use of racial or other slurs or “bullyism” — which were labeled “normative child and adolescent behaviors” — “absent a real and immediate threat of serious injury to a member of the school community.”

“Many previous offenses are no longer categorized as a violation and hence, a student caught may not be a student reported.  If there is no report, there is no crime and the numbers of crimes ostensibly go down,” Floyd said.

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