How getting to and from NYC schools has become a deadly nightmare for some

Lorelei Pagena junior and Zoe Ntouvasa sophomore, are reporters on Francis Lewis HS’s undergraduate news site,, who published an earlier version of this article.

For teens getting to and from school, what should be a piece of cake can quickly become our worst nightmare.

This month, on November 11, Mark Greene, 18, was shot and killed near North Queens Community High School. On October 26, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the ankle near Tottenville High School on Staten Island. On April 27, two Francis Lewis High School students were seriously injured in a car shootout in the Fresh Meadows area. On April 8, Angellyh Yambo, a honors student, was walking home from her South Bronx school when she was shot and killed while two classmates were injured.

At least 40 children and youth have been shot dead this year, some on the way to and from school. Most teenagers don’t think twice when they ask their friends to hang out with them after class or grab a slice of pizza. Now many New York teenagers are wondering if they’re safe while traveling.

An image of Angellyh Yambo.
Angellyh Yambo, a distinguished student, was walking home from University Prep Charter HS in the South Bronx when she was shot dead on April 8.

“Going to or from school shouldn’t be anything I should fear for my life. We should all be able to commute freely without the added fear of getting hurt or even dying,” said sophomore Amaris Olazabal.

She takes precautions. “I’ve become more aware of my surroundings. I try to keep the places I visit to a minimum. I’m trying to look around to see where I am.”

The drive-by shoot On April 27, Francis Lewis’ students were too close when two classmates were struck at around 4:10 p.m. on 188th Street near 64th Avenue — a well-known and popular shopping district.

On the two school days following the shooting, NYPD Security Officers brought metal detectors into the school lobby.

Cover of the New York Post for Saturday, April 9, 2022.
Two other students, both 17 years old, sustained gunshot wounds while walking from University Prep Charter HS.

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

Cities across the country grapple with the same problems while teenagers find themselves caught in the crossfire. Washington, DC school districts deployed more adults to monitor students on their way to work and increased security.

“I think that control in this area of ​​the school should be tightened,” Olazabal said. “We can put more security guards in front of the school to make entering or exiting the building safe.”

New York City has seen a rise in violent crime, putting students and faculty at greater risk than ever.

An image of guest author Zoe Ntouvas.
Zoe Ntouvas is a student guest writer.
Helayne Seidman

“I have to take certain precautions that I shouldn’t have done,” Loren Kim said of her commute to work as a sophomore. “It should be guaranteed to go home safely and it’s sad that people have to think about it.”

Walking isn’t the only danger. There has been an increase in violent incidents on public transport.

On April 12, a man disguised as a construction worker detonated smoke bombs and opened fire in a Brooklyn subway car during the morning rush, injuring 29 passengers – including four students who were going to school.

On October 15, a 15-year-old boy was allegedly shot dead by an 18-year-old on the A train in Far Rockaway after school when two groups of teenagers began fighting. His killing was among nine homicides in the subway system so far in 2022, the most in 25 years.

An image of police tape blocking a street.
New York City has seen a rise in violent crime, putting students and faculty at greater risk than ever.
Stephen Yang

“I think it’s really worrying that society is starting to become more insecure and teenagers are having an easier time getting hold of dangerous weapons,” said junior Sophia Park.

According to the New York Post, violence is increasing in almost every area of ​​New York City. Although the crime rate has risen to over 100% in some areas, this has still not stopped parents from letting their children go to school alone.

“I think they’re a bit nervous, but they haven’t stopped me from walking or spoken to me seriously about it because they know I tend to be very safe on the road,” said junior Serra Parabdin. “I take a really peaceful route to school, it’s just a few houses.”

An image by guest author Lorelei Pagen.
Lorelei Pagen is a junior at Francis Lewis High School.
Helayne Seidman

Junior Zara Masudova told her parents: “Just tell me to be careful and turn on location on my phone so they can see where I am.”

Unfortunately, many victims of these neighborhood crimes are innocent bystanders, such as Angellyh Yambo, 16, who was fatally shot in the chest on April 8 while walking from University Prep Charter HS in the South Bronx along with two other students, both 17 , went home. Shot in the leg and buttocks. A 16-year-old accused of opening fire in a clash with alleged gang members has been charged with murder and attempted murder.

“I heard on the news that the victim walked and was shot at random, which could have happened to anyone,” Olazabal said. “As a walker, I was afraid.” How getting to and from NYC schools has become a deadly nightmare for some


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