The permanent position provides a point person to specifically address safety and discipline concerns within the schools.
As previously reported by the Bronx Times, Lehman Educational Campus experienced a week-long spree of false fire alarms from Monday, November 30 to Thursday, December 3, that were pulled to advance pre-planned street brawls.
Thousands of students flooded into the streets around the school. Few students returned to class on those days.
Social media and cell phones were used to alert the student body to the rowdy activity in Westchester Square.
The new security chief appointment is just one part of a greater plan to enhance a sense of community among the campuses and end discord.
To stem the student violence Lehman immediately changed its policy on cell phone use. No phones are allowed in the school.
“The phones were being used to organize fights” said Councilman James Vacca “Now that this has been addressed and the new hire has been completed it shows that the DOE is serious.”
Other new changes include the development of a parent welcome center, a newly formed Student Advisory Council, and the launch of a campus-wide newsletter.
Marvin Elliot, the AP of security, comes into the new post with more than 10 years of experience in education.
Councilman James Vacca feels the new hire was extremely necessary to coordinate efforts between all the campuses.
“I thought it was a no brainer,” said Vacca, “There shouldn’t be a question of who is in charge.”
Vacca says Elliot will be the point person on all security measures and will work closely with the six principals from the various schools within the campus.
The councilman thinks that having six different heads created confusion, because the authorities didn’t know who to reach out to when trouble ensued.
“Having a point person was something I insisted upon,” said the coucilman, “I’m glad the Chancellor (of the DOE) followed up.”
Vacca has visited the schools since the changes were implemented and already sees improvement in the school’s tone.
He said the entranceway to Lehman is much more organized, and offices have been repainted.
“Security issues are being addressed, but we still have some work to do,” said Vacca.