Another knife was found in the same Bronx classroom where a teenager stabbed two classmates, killing one of them, police say.
A custodian found a folding knife on the floor of the classroom at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife last Thursday, a day after Abel Cedeno allegedly stabbed 15-year-old Matthew McCree and 16-year-old Ariane Laboy, sources told News 4. McCree died at the hospital, and Laboy was seriously wounded.
The folding knife, which was sitting unopened near a radiator, was turned over to police, who determined it wasn't connected to the stabbings of the students, the NYPD said.
It's not clear who the knife belonged to or how long it had been in the classroom.
The knife Cedeno allegedly used was a switchblade, with a three-inch blade and a four-inch handle, police said. The NYPD says the fact that the unrelated knife was overlooked in the initial police search of the classroom isn't cause for concern. But the president of the union representing school safety officers disagrees.
"What it tells us is another child had a knife in the school, and we don't know how many other knives were taken out of there after this happened," said local Teamsters president Gregory Floyd.
Police say they're seizing an increasing number of weapons in schools -- more than 2,000 in the past year.
"We're certainly not happy that students are carrying weapons, but we think it's good that we are intercepting weapons," said NYPD Chief Brian Conroy.
Floyd said Mayor Bill de Blasio has ignored his pleas for more metal detectors and has limited school safety officers' involvement in bullying complaints.
"Metal detectors should be in every high school because we are finding weapons in schools that do no have scanning, and we are lucky to find weapons in schools that don't have scanning," said Floyd.
As de Blasio convened a group of parent leaders for a discussion about school safety in front of media Monday, he promised a sharper focus on bullying. Schools chancellor Carmen Farina said there were also be reinforcement on how bullying is reported.
But one mother in attendance told the chancellor, "To be honest with you, Ms. Farina, I don't see much positive attitude from elementary school when it comes to handling bullying."
Another parent said, "There were two teachers in that classroom. Someone is reponsible, who will be held accountable for it?"
The mayor responded, "The incident in the Bronx is being investigated so I don't think we should assume anything."
Susan Crowson, PTA president, said after the meeting that she thought the coversation was a good beginning, and hoped to see the mayor and school leaders follow up.
Cedeno told police he bought the knife online for protection and had been harassed since the school year started. Cedeno said that McCree and Laboy hadn't bothered him before until that morning, when they reportedly started tossing broken bits of pencils and paper at his head, authorities said.
But another student in the class, Frankie Santiago, told News 4 Thursday that McCree had only been trying to throw a crumpled piece of paper into the trash can when it hit Cedeno, angering him.
McCree's mother, Louna Dennis, told reporters at a news conference last Friday that her son wasn't a bully and that he was "loved by so many people."
The Department of Education says its investigation is ongoing but so far it doesn't appear there was any negligence on the part of the teachers in the classroom.
McCree's stabbing death was the first homicide inside a New York City school since 1993, when a 15-year-old student stabbed a classmate to death at a junior high school in Manhattan.