03.31.2016 | In response to today’s release of data pursuant to the Student Safety Act, Kim Sweet, Executive Director of Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), released the following statement:
The continued decline in suspensions is good news for the New York City public schools and the students they serve. In an increasing number of schools, educators are working with students and families to implement evidence-based strategies, like restorative practices and collaborative problem solving, that reduce the need for suspensions without compromising safety. We urge the Mayor and the Chancellor of the Department of Education to fund further expansion of these strategies across the city.
The data released today also discloses how often students are transported from schools to hospitals by Emergency Medical Services staff for emotional or psychological reasons. The City Council recently amended the Student Safety Act to require release of this information. This increase in transparency is welcome, as for decades, we have seen school staff call EMS because they don’t have more appropriate strategies or support to help them de-escalate crises and address their students’ emotional needs. This first batch of data on EMS referrals supports the call for expanding crisis intervention support for school staff and mental health services for students in our city’s schools.