Rise in NYC Crime Affects the Commute for Students

On Wednesday, April 27, two Francis Lewis students were severely injured during a drive-by shooting in the Fresh Meadows area. On April 8, Angellyh Yambo was an honor student walking home from school when she was shot in the Bronx and killed while two others were hurt. At least 40 children and teenagers have been shot this year, some of which occurring on their commute to and from school. In this day of age, many teenagers don’t think twice when asking their friends to hang out or get a slice of pizza. However, after this increase in crime in New York City, many teens are wondering if they are truly safe when commuting to and from school. 

The incident on April 27 hit too close to home for some students at Francis Lewis High School as two of their fellow classmates were injured in a location well-known and visited by many. 

“I have realized that I have become more alert to my surroundings,” freshman Amaris Olazabal said. “I try to minimize the places I go to make sure that I am truly safe. If I do go somewhere I try to look around to give a closer look as to where I am.”

On the two school days following the shooting on April 27, metal detectors were randomly deployed by the NYPD Safety Division in the school lobby. 

“When coming to school on April 28 there was a line to enter the school along with police and metal detectors inside,” freshman Thea Boumakis. “I felt a little safer than I would on a normal day, knowing that there was extra security after a horrific event near us. I don’t think it’s necessary to keep them permanently, but on that day and the day after it was comforting.”

Olazabal also shared her personal experience when commuting to school those two days. 

I remembered that I had to walk to school that day and I had to walk fast because I kept thinking someone was following me,” Olazabal said. 

Throughout the country,  cities are attempting to make sure that students arrive at school safely in the morning and back home in the afternoon amid a spike in teenagers being.  A school district in the District of Columbia is employing more adults to “monitor students on their commutes and ramping up security”.

“The rise in crime personally affected my commute as a student,” freshman Loren Kim said. “I have to take certain precautions that I shouldn’t have to. Being safe while walking home should be guaranteed and it’s sad that it has become something people have to think about.”

Although some FLHS students are feeling unsafe in their commute to school, there are other students who still feel safe, regardless of the recent gun violence in the area.

“It’s less dangerous than a lot of the kids commuting because I take a really peaceful route to school,” sophomore Serra Parabdin said. “There’s nothing really going on there, it’s just a bunch of houses.”

According to the New York Post, crime is up in almost every area of New York City. However, despite crime rates in New York City soaring over 100% in some areas, this hasn’t stopped parents from letting their kids walk to school on their own In some areas, crime has risen by over 100% since last year. 

 

“I think they’re a little bit nervous but they haven’t prevented me from walking or had any serious discussions with me about it because they know I tend to be very safe on the road,” sophomore Serra Parabdin said.

Sophomore Zara Masudova’s parents “just tell me to be careful and tell me to turn on my location so that they could check where I am to make sure that nothing happens.”

Unfortunately, many of the victims of these neighborhood crimes are innocent bystanders. In the Bronx, three teenage children were shot when commuting home from school. An honors student was an innocent bystander who was fatally injured.

“I heard on the news that the victim was walking and was shot randomly, which could have happened to anyone, ” Olazabal said. “As a walker myself, I was scared. Going to or from school shouldn’t be something that I should fear for my life. We should all be able to commute freely without the added fear of getting hurt or even dying. ”