Ninety-five percent of arrests made in New York City public schools in the last school year were of black or Latino students, according to a new report from the New York Civil Liberties Union.
The NYPD School Safety Division personnel made 882 arrests and wrote 1,666 summonses at the city's public schools during the 2011-12 school year. Sixty-three percent of the arrests were black students, and close to 48 percent of summonses were issued in the Bronx.
"When a student gets ticketed or arrested in school for minor misbehavior, the student's ability to succeed academically is greatly weakened," said the NYCLU in a statement.
More than 5,100 police personnel work in the city's public schools, as compared to approximately 3,000 guidance counselors and 1,500 social workers, according to the NYCLU.
The NYPD responded in a statement , "The NYCLU's kneejerk reaction to claim racism is as old as it is false... the NYCLU persists in smearing school safety agents and police officers who do good work professionally in an unbiased manner."
The Department of Education said in a separate statement, “In the last 10 years, we’ve reduced major crimes committed in schools by 49 percent and violent crime by 45 percent, while still maintaining one of the lowest rates of school-based arrests for any major district in the country. School safety is important for our students’ success and it’s our goal to preserve a safe learning environment.”
The Student Safety Act, enacted in 2011, requires police to submit quarterly reports to the City Council on arrests, summonses and other police involvement in the city's schools.
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