More Than 90,000 New York City Students Are Searched Before School
Every morning, more than 90,000 New York City public high school students are scanned by metal detectors as they arrive to school. Which schools have scanners is hard to pin down — the Department of Education says it does not share this information for safety reasons.
But the scanners aren’t secret. They can be seen in school lobbies. By calling high schools and using data from the New York Civil Liberties Union and Inside Schools, WNYC found that at least 193 New York City public high schools have metal detectors, accounting for about one-third of the city’s high school population.
Getting scanned before school every day can mean earlier wakeups, long waits and lots of hassle, and whether it’s a part of your morning depends a lot on where you go to school.
Almost two-thirds of high school students in the Bronx go through a metal detector; none go through one on Staten Island. Students in Brooklyn are a little more likely than average to go through scanning, and those in Manhattan and Queens are less likely.
Citywide, almost half of black high school students are scanned every day — compared to about 14 percent of white students. We also found that 43% of English Language Learner high school students are scanned every day.