IS 125 principal finds decades old weapons in office safe in Long Island City school

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I.S. 125 in Long Island City. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

A new principal at I.S. 125 in Long Island City discovered a safe full of knives in his office last week — reportedly seized from students by the prior administration.

The New York Post reported that Michael Borelli started a new position as principal this year and opened up the safe of his predecessor when he noticed the stash of weapons. According to the article by the Post, there was a gun and a variety of knives in the safe.

Department of Education (DOE) spokesperson Nathaniel Styer said that confiscated weapons should be reported and handed over to the NYPD. The previous administration did not report these weapons.

“These items should have been reported to school safety — a standard procedure our school leaders are trained to follow,” Styer said. “The new school leader at this school discovered these items, thoroughly followed proper procedures and immediately turned them over to school safety, and this is being thoroughly investigated.”

The incident is under investigation by the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the DOE. The items were vouchered to the NYPD and never accessible to students. 

NYPD keeps track of the number of seized weapons, and those reports are then made public.

This news comes after weapon seizures in city schools reportedly increased by 28% this past year. The total amount of weapons seized in the 2018-2019 school year was 611 compared to 787 in 2021. 

The weapons most commonly taken from students are knives and box cutters/razors, according to NYPD data. In the 2018-2019 school year, over 500 knives and box cutters were confiscated. This past year, that total dropped to 463, while other seizures of firearms, tasers and BB guns rose.