By Dan Miller, Ph.D.
December 27, 2010
On Thursday December 16 more than one hundred high school students stood on the steps of City Hall behind City Council member Peter Vallone Jr. and other elected officials including, New York City Speaker Christine Quinn, Council members. Viverito, Jackson and Matthew to announce that the New York City Council was supporting New York City public high school students in their protest against the New York City Department of Education and the way high school student have been mistreated without adequate due process. Students complained that many students had been arrested for writing on a school desk, a punishment that seemed too harsh for the alleged crime. Joining the demonstration was New York ACLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman.
It has been more than two years that The New York Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of advocates called on the New York City Council to pass the Student Safety Act, legislation that would provide much-needed transparency and scrutiny to the disciplinary and security policies in New York City public schools. “Schools should be pushing our kids into college not into prison,” said Lieverman.
The new proposed legislation would require the Department of Education (DOE) and NYPD make quarterly reports to the city council on school safety issues, including incidents involving the arrest, expulsion or suspension of students IF enacted into law the Student Safety Act would extend the jurisdiction of the Civilian Complaint Review Board to include complaints of misconduct levied against school safety agents, who are employees of the NYPD. A coalition of elected officials, DOE and NYPD worked cooperatively with student leaders to put the legislation together.
Vallone, Chair of the Council’s safety committee, indicated that this was a special day where the City Council would be talking up the issue with the purpose of passing legislation to give more transparency to what goes on in the New York City public high schools.
Dan Miller, Ph.D.
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