Mayor, schools chancellor hold school safety meeting in wake of deadly Bronx stabbing

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina met with parents Monday at the Harry Belafonte library in Harlem to reassure them about safety in schools after the deadly stabbing at a high school in the Bronx last week.

The question-and-answer session followed the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old Matthew McCree inside the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation. A 16-year-old who was also critically wounded has since been released from the hospital.

Related: Bronx school stabbing victim's mom: 'My son is never coming back'

The alleged attacker, 18-year-old Abel Cedeno, is charged with murder and manslaughter, among other charges.

He is due in court Tuesday.

"I think it's important for us to have an open dialogue about what we are doing and what we need to do going forward, and that's why we called you here as parent leaders from all over the city," de Blasio said. "We, in fact, have to recognize always that the speed of information is good for everyone."

Parents want to know if the Department of Education and the administration are doing everything possible to protect students in school, also asking many questions regarding communication, accountability and discipline.

"Our measures are strict, our consequences are appropriate, and we have protocols in place," Farina said. "But today is about listening to you and hearing from you."

Renesha Westbrooks-Martinez came to the meeting all the way from Bushwick, Brooklyn, and she left wondering if kids truly are safe in school.

"I don't want to believe that my children are in a room with adults, and no one is going to jump up to help them when they are in danger," she said. "And that really, really concerns me."

Authorities installed metal detectors the day after the deadly stabbing, which marked the first fatal attack inside a city school in 25 years. One parent said students should be involved the development of school safety solutions.

"The response is always to criminalize children, and we don't need more of that," parent Zakiyah Ansari said. "They should have this type of town hall for young people."
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