June 11, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Two school advocacy groups are calling out the mayor for his refusal to pull police officers out of public schools.
Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the more than 5,000 NYPD school safety agents should remain at city schools, when asked at a daily press briefing.
“I personally believe that the better approach is to continue what we have, but improve it, reform it,” de Blasio said in response to a Chalkbeat reporter‘s question on whether he was considering removing the police department from enforcing school safety.
The Alliance for Quality Education and The Dignity in Schools Campaign NY today denounced the mayor’s comments and refusal to remove NYPD officers from public schools.
“Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio doubled down on the criminalization of black and brown youth by refusing to remove the NYPD from schools,” said Maria Bautista, Campaigns Director at the Alliance for Quality Education.
“It is clear de Blasio does not have the moral or political courage to tackle one of the most troubling and concerning racial justice issues of our time: the role of police in our schools and communities.”
Bautista said that there are more NYPD safety agents in city schools than officers in the entire Boston Police Department — more than double, according to reports.
“NYC students are being policed more than whole cities and the consequence is a school-to-prison industry that is disproportionately impacting black and brown students,” she said in a statement.
School districts in other cities— like Minneapolis and Portland — have recently chosen to cut ties with law enforcement as outrage over police brutality has swept the country.
De Blasio, on the other hand, is looking to reform the NYPD’s handling of school safety, instead of removing officers from school hallways.
But critics and even DOE employees disagree with de Blasio’s assessment and have called for the DOE Office of Safety and Youth Development to takeover the training and supervision of school safety officers from the NYPD.