New Rochelle HS students return to class after year marked by tragedy

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NEW ROCHELLE -

A new class of ninth-graders entered New Rochelle High School Wednesday after a year marked by violence and tragedy.

The school had a noticeable increase in security on campus, a reminder of the string of violence that erupted last winter. One student was killed off campus, allegedly stabbed by a classmate, and another was stabbed in a classroom.

"Having multiple lockdown drills was stressful for the children and for us so it was somewhat unpredictable last year.  This year we hope that we have a very quiet year," says parent Kehly Woodruff.

Jeffrey Hastie is the newly elected president of the Board of Education, which is now tasked with hiring a new high school principal and superintendent. The board will also create a committee to review the list of recommendations presented by a safety task force last spring.

"They will take a look at those goals and see what makes sense to be implemented in our district and they will present that to the board and we will vote on those," says Hastie.

The interim high school principal announced changes on campus including, four additional guidance counselors and "puppy time," which involves a service dog on campus during times of "stress." The school will also remain a closed campus for all students, and in between classes, if students are found in hallways, they will be asked for identification by security.

Security will additionally be conducting hallways sweeps during each period every day, all year.

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