Franklin Lane students feel school violence will continue

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Several of the students interviewed said there were too many officers patrolling the high school on the Brooklyn/Queens border.

Just a day after Phase II of Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg's school safety plan went into effect at Franklin K. Lane that brought more police to the campus, students said most criminal activity occurs after school and will not decrease because of more officers.

"There are a lot of troublemakers," Andres Carrion, a senior at the school at 999 Jamaica Ave. said. He said the ones responsible for the crimes at the high school act like angels inside while walking the halls, but then behave violently once they leave the site.

Carrion said the officers are most visible in the morning when students are coming into the school and at the end of the day when they are leaving around 2:30 p.m. He said violence inside the school is limited and most people feel safe walking the halls.

"They (the violent students) are going to do what they do anyway," said an 11th-grader who only wanted to be identified as Emily. She said students who commit crimes will probably now use different tactics to avoid police detection while inside the school.

Other students criticized the number of police officers at Franklin K. Lane as the mayor Monday assigned 150 more NYPD cops to 12 violent schools citywide. There is already a heavy presence of school safety officers at Franklin K. Lane.

Franklin K. Lane and Far Rockaway High School in Far Rockaway are the first of 10 high schools in the city among other problem schools to be targeted in implementing the city Department of Education's new school safety plan.

Two middle schools will also be singled out under the mayor's plan.

More than 3,000 students currently attend Franklin K. Lane High School, according to the city Department of Education. There was no information available as to the number of those students involved in Police Department incidents - a statistic available for other similar schools on the DOE's Web site.

Erica, a ninth-grader, said she did not feel more protected following the introduction of the additional police officers.

"There are too many of them," she said.

The 12 schools, according to the mayor, were selected through a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of data from both the New York Police Department and city Department of Education.

Under the plan, each of the 12 schools will receive additional school safety agents and the number of permanently assigned police officers will be doubled. The NYPD also created a school safety task force, made up of 150 uniformed police officers, which should get underway in the next few months.

Bloomberg also said a modified suspension process announced in December will help to remove violent students.

But whether or not the students like the additional officers, Bloomberg is committed to posting them at the city's most violent schools. Only time will tell whether they make an impact at lowering the number of criminal incidents at Franklin K. Lane and the other nine high schools.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by calling 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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