City Will Require Police to Report on School Arrests

Noah Rosenberg, City Will Require Police to Report on School Arrests, N.Y. Times, Dec. 21, 2010, at A30.

The New York City Council voted on Monday to require the Police and Education Departments to produce regular reports on arrests, summonses and suspensions of public school students, a victory for civil liberties advocates who say that the school police have sometimes been too aggressive in trying to keep order.

The measure, which was introduced in August 2008, was approved unanimously after compromises were made to satisfy the police and education officials….

Due to federal restrictions on education data, arrests and summonses will be broken down by borough command, but not by school, and will be submitted to the Council quarterly.

Information on suspensions and student discipline will be available by school and will be issued by the Department of Education on a biannual and yearly basis, respectively. All data will be organized according to students’ age, grade, race, ethnicity, sex and any special education or English-language program enrollment, and will be available online.

[However], a proposal to require the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which hears complaints about police abuse, to also handle complaints about school safety officers had been removed. Instead, 311 operators will transfer complaints to the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

NYCLU Applauds City Council’s Unanimous Passage of Student Safety Act:

“This is a victory for all of New York City’s schoolchildren and the core democratic principle of open government,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said. “The Student Safety Act is one of the most comprehensive school safety reporting laws in the nation. It is an important step toward establishing safety and discipline policies that treat all children fairly, with respect and dignity, and toward the day when we provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.”

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