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AFC Calls for Removing Police from Schools and Re-envisioning School Safety Under the DOE

06.18.2020 | Today, Kim Sweet, Executive Director of Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), issued the following statement in response to recent statements by City Council Members and the President of the Teamsters Union Local 237 about removing police from schools:

We support City Council Members’ call to move responsibility for school safety to the DOE and urge the City to remove all NYPD officers from schools, shifting funding to education and social services that will support a new vision of safety in schools. We must ensure all students – especially Black students, who are disproportionately harmed – are truly safe and supported in school.

Before schools closed due to the pandemic, the NYPD – instead of clinically trained mental health professionals – had already intervened in more than 2,250 incidents involving students in emotional crisis, and even handcuffed some of these students. Black students were most disproportionately harmed; 58% of the students handcuffed were Black, even though Black students are only 25% of the total NYC public school population.

When students return to classrooms, they will need to have schools where they face social workers and therapists instead of police, where they receive mental health supports and services instead of handcuffs, and where they are welcomed to a restorative, trauma-informed setting instead of greeted by metal detectors.

Read the statement [PDF]