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August 14, 2012
Bronx students got half of in-school police summonses last year
About 21 percent of the city's middle- and high-schoolers attend schools in the Bronx. But 48 percent of the summonses that police handed out in schools last year went to Bronx students. That is one statistic about policing in city schools that the New York Civil Liberties Union is highlighting now that it has a full year of school policing data in hand. Since last year, the New York Police Department has been required to publish information every three months about arrests it has made and summonses it has issued in schools, where it has more than 5,000 officers assigned. Between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, police officers made 882 arrests in city schools and issued 1,666 summonses for behavior, according to the NYCLU's tally of the year's data. Virtually all of the arrests — more than 95 percent — were for black and Latino students, who make up about 70 percent of the city's enrollment. Three quarters were of male students. And 20 percent were of students between the ages of 11 and 14. Two-thirds of the summonses were issued for "disorderly behavior," a category of offense that the NYLCU argues usually amounts to typical teenaged behavior. Those behaviors are best dealt with by educators, not by directing students into the criminal justice system, the group argues.
August 8, 2012
Tragedy that brought police to city schools inspired 1958 series
Some city principals would like to see schools reduce their police presence. But in 1958, principals couldn't even get the police to swing by — a policy that might have driven one school leader to suicide. That's the story behind a series that appeared that year in the New York World Telegram & Sun. Masquerading as a teacher-hopeful, reporter George Allen landed a job at John Marshall Junior High School in Brooklyn, where violence among students the previous spring had driven Principal George Goldfarb to request a police presence. Mayor Robert Wagner had for the previous year been resisting placing police around schools — there were 819 at the time — because of the unsavory images of armed officials who had tried to keep black students out of schools that were being integrated, according to the New York Daily News. According to the Daily News, George Goldfarb was 55 years old, 33 years in the system, and he was suffering the displeasure of his superiors. Personally, he very much wanted police in his school, where, among other things, a 13-year-old blind girl had recently been assaulted in a stairwell, and he had gone before the grand jury and said so out loud. This was, of course, directly contrary to stated Board of Ed policy, and he had been spoken to. At 10 a.m. Jan. 28, he was due before the jury again. Instead, he wearily climbed to the roof of his six-story Eastern Parkway apartment building and jumped. ...
February 22, 2012
Average of five students arrested per day at city schools last fall
Students and advocates rally at police headquarters after the release of data on arrests and police incidents at city schools. Police officers arrested more students and handed out more tickets in schools as the school year got underway, according to new data released today. On average, five students were arrested per day on school grounds between October and December 2011. Those statistics come from a trove of data the New York Police Department is required to release under a relatively new law mandating the disclosure of information about in-school arrests and suspensions. The first data dump, released in late November and compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union, showed police had arrested or ticketed roughly four students per day on school grounds between July and September. Both reports show that disproportionate number of black and Latino students were being arrested and ticketed. 74.9 percent of those arrested during the fall quarter were male, and 93.5 percent were black or Latino. Black and Latino students make up about 71 percent of students in city schools. Over the 55 school-day period between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, NYPD reported nearly 2,300 incidents. Of those, 279 resulted in arrests and 532 in summonses. According to NYCLU's analysis, 63 percent of summonses were for disorderly conduct. of the arrests, about 120, or 40 percent, were labelled as assault or related to assault. This afternoon, politicians joined representatives from the ACLU's New York chapter and several student advocacy groups to decry the statistics as evidence that police involvement in schools leads to racial discrimination and a fearful environment. As a ring of police officers looked on, advocates rallying outside of NYPD headquarters said they would like the City Council to revisit the issue of the NYPD role in schools now that the council's Student Safety Act is is in effect.
November 28, 2011
New data show arrests in schools mostly of black, Latino males
New York City police officers arrested or ticketed an average of four students per day in schools over a four-month period this summer and fall. The statistic comes from New York Police Department data released today under the terms of a new city law that requires the Department of Education and NYPD to disclose information about arrests and suspensions that take place in schools. A total of 63 arrests – one fifth of them for felonies – were made and 182 summonses issued in city schools over a span of 50 school days between July and September, according to the data, which the New York Civil Liberties Union published on its website. Most of the quarterly reporting period took place during the summer session, when enrollment is just 10 percent of the school-year total. Arrest totals are likely to be much higher when school is in session full time. More than a third of the students arrested — 22 — were charged with assault, and more than half of summonses issued were for disorderly conduct. Riding a bike on the sidewalk was the second most common reason cited when issuing a summons, which typically requires a student to take time off of school to appear in court. More than 80 percent of students arrested were male and 44 percent were younger than 16. All but four of the students arrested were black or Latino.
November 3, 2011
NYPD is urged to be like the DOE and release school safety data
The release of school-by-school suspension tallies earlier this week was a triumph to advocates who spent years pushing the city to make school safety data transparent. But it was only a partial win. That's because the New York Police Department is also required to release school safety numbers under the terms of the Student Safety Act, which the City Council passed nearly a year ago. The NYPD was supposed to report data about summons and arrests made by school safety agents and about non-criminal incidents in school buildings twice already, in August and again this week. But so far it has released no data. When the police department missed the first deadline, officials said they were moving slowly to ensure accuracy with the complicated data, the Daily News reported at the time. Today, Paul Browne, an NYPD spokesman, said the department would release the data "after the [computer] programming is completed and the data is carefully tabulated and checked in such a way to insure complete, accurate and reliable reporting to the City Council." The New York Civil Liberties Union, which was instrumental in convincing council members to pass the Student Safety Act, is pushing NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to pick up the pace. Today, the NYCLU sent Kelly a letter today expressing concern about the "unreasonable delay" in releasing the data, noting that the DOE met its reporting deadline despite having to collect similarly complex numbers.
April 3, 2009
Pressure is mounting on DOE to follow city contracts rules
City Council Member Melinda Katz introduced a resolution asking the state to change the law so that the Department of Education is required to follow…
January 12, 2009
How many children does NYPD send to the psychiatric ward?
Remember that Daily News story last January about the kindergartner who threw a tantrum at school and then ended up getting sent to a…
October 22, 2008
Teachers say "caring relationships" make schools safe
A year ago, the human rights-oriented nonprofit National Economic and Social Rights Initiative released a report accusing the city’s Department of Education…
October 21, 2008
Some crimes in schools are creeping up, UFT tells members
Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Education have been very on-message about whether schools are getting safer under their watch (yes), but there is one…
October 9, 2008
NYCLU to NYPD: They're kids, not criminals!
Here’s the New York Civil Liberties Union’s (NYCLU) analysis of over 300 arrests that it charges took place illegally in city schools between…
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