NYC high school students demand more mental health funding instead of more police
NEW YORK - High school students in New York City spoke at a City Council meeting Wednesday to advocate for more funding to be directed towards mental health counselors rather than school police.
"I am sick and tired of being told there is not funding for students and seeing what little resources we have continue to be cut," said Nile Borja, one of several other public school teenagers who spoke at the meeting.
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Many students also expressed feeling intimidated by the presence of metal detectors and random bag searches.
"New York City’s budget continues to fund cops inside and out of our schools. I see them patrolling our every school entrance every corner and every part of my neighborhood. That’s not what we need," said Niyo Gumbs, another student.
The students' visit to City Hall comes in the wake of a stabbing involving a student in Inwood and one day after three shootings near high schools on the Upper West Side and East Harlem. Police say they believe the shootings were gang related.
However, the students who spoke at City Hall are insistent more money needs to be put toward prevention, not punishment.
"There should be more funding toward other school resources, teachers, faculty, and other resources," said Soha Mursalien.
Mayor Eric Adams and the Schools Chancellor see things differently, saying that safety is their top priority, so they support hiring more school resource officers.