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It’s no secret that Black and brown students are disproportionately punished in schools across the country—and a new report proves just that.
A recent report conducted by the New York Civil Liberties Union found that of the 262 incidents of police being called into schools and handcuffing students, 259 involved students who were either Black or Hispanic. This also included cases where the incident appeared to be based on emotional distress.
“When a child is handcuffed, the child is humiliated,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. “It’s incompatible with the safe and supportive learning environment a school is supposed to provide.”
She added: “We have made a great deal of progress over the last few years and it’s very clear that the use of harsh police tactics in school disciplinary matters is neither necessary nor effective to keep children and staff safe. We must make sure that NYPD policies and practices in schools foster a safe and supportive learning environment for all children.”
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The analysis also addressed students clapping back— there were 208 complaints made against school safety officers, including 89 for use of force, 15 for abuse of authority, 17 for offensive language and 87 for discourtesy.
“Police officers should never handcuff students who don’t pose an immediate safety threat,” said NYCLU Advocacy Director Johanna Miller. “And the NYPD should not treat schools as places to hunt for students they believe committed a crime off of school grounds. Students should never be afraid to go to school.”
According to CBS New York, the NYPD released a statement in response to this report saying that arrests are down 55 percent over the past five school years, and summonses by the NYPD are down 81 percent for the same period.
“Restraints are only used in rare circumstances—and in nearly 90 percent of the cases of helping a child in crisis or dealing with a serious emotional issue no restraint was used.”