Wild brawl caught on video at Staten Island’s Wagner High School

A violent melee erupted inside Wagner High School on Staten Island on Friday, leaving school safety agents tumbling to the ground and a dean bloodied.

Footage of the chaotic brawl shows multiple kids tussling as safety agents and staffers frantically attempt to intervene — with one officer tumbling to the floor while trying to restrain a combatant.

A knife was recovered from a female Wagner student after order was restored that had been used to slice a dean on the hand as she retrieved it, sources said.

A 14-year-old girl was taken into custody, but had not yet been charged.

Staten Island City Councilman Joe Borelli posted video of the incident to Twitter and asked if the school has fewer safety agents on duty due the vaccine mandate for DOE employees.

School sources said Wagner went from 14 agents last year to seven this year.

Safety agent union chief Greg Floyd said Friday that he currently has 1,500 fewer agents than he did in 2019 — and blamed city politicians for failing to back new hires.

It’s not yet clear if anyone was taken into custody following the melee.
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He named City Councilmembers Corey Johnson, Helen Rosenthal, Brad Lander, and Mark Treyger — along with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams — as the primary obstacles to fuller staffing in recent years.

A total of 500 agents were removed from city schools this year for refusing to take the mandated COVID-19 vaccine.

Treyger was one of several lawmakers who critiqued the proposed hiring of 475 agents at a February hearing and argued that more money should be spent on guidance counselors and social workers.

Video of a large fight that broke out at Susan Wagner High School on Staten Island
Staff and safety agents tried to break up the chaos at Wagner High School on Oct. 22, 2021.
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Treyger told the Post Friday that a new agent class of 250 agents is set to be hired.

“I also respectfully remind the public I opposed the firing of school safety agents as well as the majority of the council,” Treyger said, adding that schools are facing dire staffing shortfalls across the board due to the vaccine mandate.

Both Borelli and Treyger said that this year’s safety agent deficits are largely due to the vaccine requirement.

Video of a large fight that broke out at Susan Wagner High School on Staten Island
A knife was recovered at the scene from one of the students.
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“This is making kids less safe in the name of safety and this is just a short foreshadowing of the s–t show that’s going to occur when this mandates hit cops firefighters, EMTs and sanitation workers,” Borelli said.

Johnson lauded school safety agents in a statement Friday.

“Our school safety officers are paramount in keeping our school communities safe,” he said.

Students and employees at Susan Wagner High School.
Staten Island City Councilman Joe Borelli posted a video of the brawl to social media.
Steve White for NY Post

Williams, who has clashed with Floyd in the past over the role of school safety agents, shot back at the union chief.

“The violence at Wagner High School today was horrifying, and I pray for those injured — including the school safety staff who courageously intervened,” he said. “Instead of falsely blaming the people trying to have a constructive conversation on how to reform and reinforce school safety, I hope that Mr. Floyd joins that conversation.”

Lander and Rosenthal did not comment.

Floyd asserted that staffing depletions are fomenting disorder.

“I know a little something about after 27 years,” he said. “I know trends. Kids are sensing an opportunity. They can see that they are running the schools now.”

Safety agents recovered five guns — several of them loaded -— from students this week, three in the Bronx and one each in Brooklyn and Queens.

Safety agent union chief Greg Floyd said there are about 1,500 fewer safety agents in the NYC schools than from two years ago.
Safety agent union chief Greg Floyd said there are about 1,500 fewer safety agents in the NYC schools than from two years ago.
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A debate over the role of school safety agents has raged for several years, with some lawmakers and activists arguing that they create a hostile atmosphere inside DOE buildings.

Floyd and others counter that the unarmed agents — who are 90 percent black and Hispanic and 70 percent women — are crucial to maintaining order in the nation’s largest school system.

“Violence of any kind has no place in our schools and School Safety Agents and school staff immediately worked to deescalate this situation and ensured no students were injured,” said DOE spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon.

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