City and School Officials Address Fatal Stabbing

Yesterday, a young woman, a student at New Rochelle High School, was fatally stabbed by another teenager.  This horrific incident, which is still under investigation by the New Rochelle Police, did not occur on school grounds, but rather at a nearby business.  Today at noon, Superintendent Brian Osborne, New Rochelle High School Principal Reggie Richardson, City Manager Chuck Strome and I held a joint press conference, during which I made the statement below.  Because of the significant — and appropriate — public concern surrounding this event, I thought it important to share my remarks with the community.

 

Remarks of Mayor Noam Bramson

Good afternoon. I am Noam Bramson, the Mayor of New Rochelle. I am joined by Dr. Brian Osborne, the Superintendent of the New Rochelle public schools, who will speak in a moment. Let me also note the presence of Reggie Richardson, the Principal of New Rochelle High School, and Chuck Strome, our City Manager.

As you know, a short while ago, the New Rochelle Police provided a briefing on the criminal investigation associated with yesterday’s fatal stabbing, and it is important for those of us here to defer to our public safety professionals with regard to comment on any aspect of that investigation.

But because an event of this kind shakes all of us – residents, educators, students, neighbors, and, especially, parents – it is equally important at a moment like this for civic leaders to speak to and on behalf of our community as a whole. In this spirit, I would like to make three points:

First and most importantly, what occurred yesterday is a profound and heartbreaking human tragedy. All people of good will are surely joined today in grieving the loss of a young life, in praying for the family, friends, and classmates of Ms. Schwab, and in expressing our firm and unshakable belief and intent that no young person should ever be the victim or the perpetrator of violence.

Second, it must now be our collective responsibility to consider the chain of events that led to this horrific outcome, and to reflect on how we can each in our own roles better serve our children. For City and School officials, for law enforcement, for mental health professionals and social service providers, for mothers and fathers, this should be a moment not only of grief, but also of introspection, as we recommit ourselves to doing everything possible to ensure that such an event never occurs again.

Third, and finally, I say to every student and every parent: I know that many of you are grieving, I know that some of you are scared, and I know that all of you – all of us – want answers and reassurance.  But we will not allow any single incident, even one of such terrible gravity, to break our confidence and faith in each other. Every day, thousands of young people arrive at New Rochelle High School to learn and grow. They greet each other with love, and respect, and friendship – and with pride in the strong school community they have built together, alongside their teachers. That is just as true today as it was yesterday. And it will remain true tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.

Let me put this in the most personal terms I can: our older son will attend New Rochelle High School beginning this fall, and his younger brother will follow one year later.  My wife and I will send them to school with eagerness and joy, absolutely certain that they, like all children in New Rochelle, will be valued, nurtured, and protected.

Let us together mourn and seek justice for this awful loss, commit ourselves to an even safer city and society, and affirm our determination to do right by all of New Rochelle’s young people and by the community we share.