Mary MuellerJan 22, 2018, 4:09 pmJan 24, 2018, 12:58 pm

Petition calls for resignation of New Rochelle school officials in wake of violent incidents

Police say 15-year-old student suspected of stabbing classmate is still at large


NEW ROCHELLE — There is now a petition circulating online for New Rochelle school officials to resign following a series of violent incidents involving high school students.

News of the petition comes as police say a 15-year-old student accused of stabbing his classmate at the high school last Thursday is still not in police custody. Authorities say they have followed up multiple times with the student's mother who lives in New Rochelle and she says she doesn't know where he is.

"But I do know something that no significant changes were implemented and they waited ‘til it happened on their grounds to do something," said Iona College student Brendan Eckstein.

Eckstein started a petition on that calls for the district's superintendent, school board members, the principal at New Rochelle High School, and others to resign in the wake of the violent incidents. His petition has garnered the support of almost 300 people. He says the school board's inconsistency on allowing students to leave for lunch has caused a number of the problems. He feels school officials haven't done enough to combat the violence in the school.

Police say 16-year-old Valaree Schwab was stabbed fatally by a student who went off campus during lunch on Jan. 10. Eckstein says passing Schwab's makeshift memorial outside the Dunkin’ Donuts on North Avenue where she died reminds him why change is necessary.

"I mean, I get emotional. At first, it didn't affect me the first few days, but then it really hit me and I left something there even though I didn't know. And I needed to act, and it's a great reminder of why we need change," Eckstein said.

"I believe they need reform. If the reform doesn't happen, then whatever course of action needs to happen. Parents need to know the kids are safe," says Marc Lacroix, whose goddaughter goes to New Rochelle High School. He says he will be at Tuesday night's meeting hosted by school officials.

"I want to hear protection, how they can assure the kids are safe walking to and from the school and really get into the people's lives and what's going on in their free time," Lacroix said.

Police say a parent called them to report two girls viciously fighting in a bathroom at the high school on Friday and a video of the fight was posted to social media.

The meeting to discuss all these incidents will be at the high school at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

As for the victim of last week’s stabbing, he is expected to survive.

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