More drills, metal detectors for New York City schools, mayor says in wake of Florida shooting

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio detailed the city's plan to keep students safe from gun violence inside schools.

The plan, unveiled on Thursday, includes regular active shooter drills and metal detectors, but no armed teachers.

During the drills, students will practice sheltering in place. Only 4 to 5 percent of city schools currently have permanent metal detectors, and many schools use portable scanners that will now be brought into high schools and middle schools on an unannounced basis.

President Donald Trump has said he's open to giving teachers weapons, but the mayor says absolutely not.

"I don't think there's anyone who is serious about education is giving much regard to what the president suggested," Mayor de Blasio said.

"Let teachers teach, alright?" Police Commissioner James O'Neill said. "Having a gun is a big responsibility."

De Blasio stressed the drills will happen more than once a year, but declined to talk about locking classroom doors, saying that will be up to the NYPD.

"The approach we are taking to scanning, the drills to protect young people and have them shelter in place, the neighborhood policing, the close coordination between our officers and the schools, all of that is the essence," he said. "What we need more of is the public to come forward with information, and that includes young people."

It can be scary for children, but the police commissioner says kids have to be prepared.

"I know it's a little frightening, but it's also, I talk about this all the time, you have to pay attention to what goes on everywhere in the city, in the country, and around the world. This is part of what we need to do to keep people safe," O'Neill said.

There are currently 91 scanning sites at NYC School buildings.

When an elementary school is present in a middle school or high school where scanning occurs, a separate entrance will be provided for elementary level students to enter the building without being scanned.

Currently, NYC Schools have four lockdown drills and eight evacuation drills per school year.

A lockdown drill will be performed at every school by March 15th, according to the DOE.

Mayor de Blasio said city schools will support a planned March 14th walkout on gun control.

He said he expects high school students will walk out of school for 17 minutes and then return to class. That's one minute for each victim in the Parkland school shooting.

For middle school and elementary school students, the mayor hopes to have a 17-minute event inside the school buildings.

The education department will "do lesson plans around this issue leading up to that day" to make it a teachable moment.

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