Upper West Side Middle-School Search Seeks Weapons, Phones

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The line for the middle detector. Photo: S. Jhoanna Robledo


As if middle school wasn't filled with enough drama — the cliques! The science projects! — students arriving at M.S. 54, the Booker T. Washington School, on the Upper West Side today were surprised to find cops using metal detectors to check their backpacks for weapons this morning. Was there a reason to be worried? Nope — a 311 operator says these "random, unannounced" visits are "a new safety initiative by the NYC police department." The non-weapon-toting kids weren't concerned about guns; they were worried about their cell phones, which are technically banned from schools and presumably would show up in the search — and, if found, won't be returned till Tuesday. It's one way to put the kibosh on excessive text messaging. —S. Jhoanna Robledo