NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Terrified parents are demanding action after five handguns - two loaded - were confiscated by school safety agents in the past two days.
As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reports, it's a call to arms to get rid of the arms: Pistols and revolvers that are showing up in the backpacks and back pockets of students all too frequently.
Parents say the combined shortage of safety agents and scanning equipment is endangering the lives of their kids.
"This situation is so urgent," said Mona Davids of the New York City School Safety Coalition.
Davids is just one of a number of angry parents and activists outside the Mott Haven school complex in the Bronx where a 15-year-old student was found with a fully loaded .22 caliber pistol as the result of a random screening.
"It was a simply a miracle that it happened on that day, because this school does not have screening. This school does not have metal detectors," said Davids.
CBS2 cameras found that students did have to go through metal detectors Friday - a typical reaction of the Department of Education - a show of action after a problem has been discovered.
The same thing happened two weeks ago after a student was stabbed at Fanny Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx. Scanners in the morning were removed just three hours later.
"It was over a year ago that this union warned the parents of the incoming danger when the schools open," said Gregory Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237.
Floyd, the head of the school safety agents union, says he's not surprised that five guns were confiscated in the past two days, including a loaded .32 caliber and a bag of marijuana at Adlai Stevenson High School in the Bronx, a .32 caliber pistol at FDR High School in Brooklyn, and a pink handgun at Junior High School 98 in the Bronx.
Floyd says there's a shortage of safety agents. Instead of 5,500, there are now 3,700 because the city has not replaced agents who either retired or are not at work because they refused to get the COVID vaccine.
"We said your children are in danger," Floyd said.
The union says Mott Haven had eight agents when the gun was found. Before attrition, it had 17 to staff the five schools in the complex.
Meanwhile, a video has surfaced showing a school safety agent dragged to the floor while trying to break up a wild scuffle at Wagner High School on Staten Island.
Councilman Joe Borelli, who tweeted the video, demanded to know "whether or not they were short school safety agents due to the vaccine mandate?"
The school safety union told CBS2 there were seven agents on duty at Wagner. Before attrition and the vaccine mandate, there were 19.
As far as the guns are concerned, parents have pretty much given up on Mayor Bill de Blasio and are asking the next mayor to take up the issue.
"As mayor of the city of New York, I want to elevate these school safety officers. I want to hire more. I want them in the streets, not just in the schools," said Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa.
"Finding five guns in schools ... that should be alarming to all of us. It's a real concern of mine," said Democrat mayoral candidate Eric Adams. "And that's why I'm going to make sure we have our school safety agents well trained."
The Department of Education did not respond to Kramer's question of how many of the city's over 1,700 schools have metal detectors.
A spokeswoman insisted the agency works with the NYPD "every day" to provide additional coverage and "random scanning where necessary.
The problem with "where necessary" is that it is usually after an incident has occurred.
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