New Rochelle schools launch safety task force

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NEW ROCHELLE -

Four weeks after a stabbing in one of its schools, the City School District of New Rochelle is launching a task force to examine teen violence and school safety.

Maryland educator Dr. Jonathan Brice made his first visits to New Rochelle schools Thursday as he embarked on the task force. Brice previously worked for the U.S. Department of Education.

New Rochelle's rash of violence last month includes a fatal stabbing involving two classmates at a Dunkin' Donuts. The suspect in a separate stabbing inside one of the schools remains on the run, and police have not released any new details.

Brice says school violence is happening everywhere, not just in New Rochelle. On Wednesday, 17 students were killed in a Florida high school in the 18th school shooting this year so far. Brice suggests changing culture as a resolution.

"Working with students, school teachers and administrators, with the broader community, we can create an environment where we do not have violence," he says.

Residents in New Rochelle say they support the task force's mission but question its ability to combat violence as a whole.

"As long as people have access to weapons, you'll continue to see this happen," says Ryan Hyndman, of New Rochelle.

Brice says he plans on sharing his recommendations with the school board by the end of April.

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