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Third New Rochelle Student Stabbing Sparks Concern In Community

The New Rochelle High School.
The New Rochelle High School. Photo Credit: File

Metal detectors, off-campus lunches and other controversial topics are expected to be discussed by New Rochelle city and school officials during a joint meeting next week in the wake of the third stabbing incident involving high school students in eight days.

According to police, at approximately 8:50 a.m. on Thursday, the department received a call from security guards at the high school reporting that a stabbing had occurred at the school, and a 15-year-old suspect was seen on video fleeing the building.

New Rochelle Police Capt. Robert Gazzola said that a 16-year-old student suffered two puncture wounds to his torso and has been transported to Jacobi Medical Center for treatment for what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries. He deferred any further comment to the Board of Education.

The incident comes a day after a teenage student suffered a lacerated hand during an altercation at a New Rochelle pizza place, and eight days after New Rochelle High School junior Valaree Schwab was fatally stabbed outside Dunkin’ Donuts on North Avenue during a separate incident.

City officials said that police have not determined how the student - who remains at large - was able to flee without being apprehended. The weapon used in Thursday’s stabbing has not been released.

In response to the most recent incident, officials announced there would be an increased uniformed police presence at the high school for the foreseeable future. New Rochelle City Manager Chuck Strome noted that there will be cops patrolling the area from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said that myriad of topics will be covered by city and school officials during next week’s scheduled comprehensive joint city-school review. There will be a public forum hosted next week at the Whitney Young Auditorium at the New Rochelle High School at 7 p.m. on Tuesday next week to address the recent rash of violence.

“We will look comprehensively on all policies that may or may not have had a bearing on what has occurred,” he said. “We’re not pre-judging the outcome of (the review). We want to look carefully at the landscape in its totality and make sure any measures we take are based in research, fact and data.”

Bramson called the past two weeks “a devastating period of days for New Rochelle.”

“For all of us, and for me as a parent of young children, we are all deeply concerned (with recent events), and that’s why it’s incumbent to come together and examine this question as comprehensively as we can, and to take any steps that we can to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again.

“All of us are facing fear, or recognize that others are facing fear, but we should recognize that a school district and community is not defined by any single incident or cluster of incidents. They’re shaped by contact with thousands of other people each day. By any objective measure, we are a safe school district and city.

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