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Metal Detectors May Be Used to Spot Weapons in City Schools

May 4, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ Increasing numbers of deadly weapons have been seized at city public schools this year and the Board of Education is considering setting up metal detectors to search students, an official said.

Bruce Irushalmi, director of the board’s Office of School Safety, said Tuesday he had been asked by Chancellor Richard Green to study the feasibility of metal detectors.

Irushalmi said 1,400 incidents involving weapons were reported in the last school year - a figure he expects will rise by 10 percent by the end of this school year in June. The weapons include guns, a crossbow and martial arts weapons.

He told a hearing of the City Council Education Committee the detectors would act as a deterrent.

″Putting in a metal detector alters the image of the school,″ he said. But, he added, ″so do weapons.″

Irushalmi and Ed Muir, head of the United Federation of Teachers’ safety committee, linked the rise in the number of students carrying weapons to an increase in drug trafficking among them.

The metal detectors would first be installed on a pilot basis at a few high schools, Irushalmi said.

Committee Chairman Herbert Berman has introduced a bill that would require metal detectors in all of the city’s nearly 1,000 public schools. Irushalmi said that would cost $4 million.

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