This resolution was adopted by Community Education Council District 1 on June 10, 2020.
WHEREAS, the New York City Department of Education is responsible for all interactions students have with adults in our school buildings in order to promote a positive school climate;
WHEREAS, recent actions of officers in the New York Police Department and its history of disparate policing based on zip code and racial demographic run directly counter to the Department of Education’s vision of Equity and Excellence for All;
WHEREAS, many school safety officers in District 1 schools are beloved and trusted members of our school communities and have been providing not only security and safety of students, faculty, and visitors but ad hoc counseling services when students are in crisis.
WHEREAS, there are over three times as many police officers as social workers in New York City public school buildings, and almost twice as many police officers as guidance counselors;
WHEREAS, the presence of police officers in schools has contributed to the criminalization of young people in New York City, especially students of color, immigrant students, Muslim students, queer students, and students with disabilities;
WHEREAS, the presence of police officers in schools imposes a climate of fear and intimidation in school communities, especially among Black students, that inhibits schools from providing a nurturing, inspiring, and rigorous learning experience;
WHEREAS, Minneapolis Board of Education voted to terminate its contract with the police department for school resource officers;
WHEREAS, Mayor Bill de Blasio previously rejected a proposal by the School Diversity Advisory Group to study moving the Division of School Safety back to the Department of Education;
WHEREAS, since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in 2014, the school safety division budget has grown over 25%, according to figures from the Independent Budget Office;
WHEREAS, funding for School Safety is $427.3 million in the Fiscal 2021 Preliminary Budget, an increase of $19.7 million from the Fiscal 2020 Adopted Budget. Though this increase is entirely to support the increased cost of existing staff due to collective bargaining agreements and there is no budgeted increase in headcount, a total of $303.8 million is budgeted to go directly to the NYPD;
WHEREAS, the Mayor has outlined more than $800 million in cuts to the New York City DOE budget for Fiscal Year 2021;
WHEREAS, the Fiscal 2021 Preliminary Budget excludes $1.3 million for Restorative Justice and $1.8 million for social emotional supports;
WHEREAS, positive approaches to school climate and discipline include training in trauma-informed practices; child and adolescent development and psychology; comprehensive youth development practices and programming; conflict resolution and peer mediation; de-escalation techniques; violence prevention and intervention; intergroup and interethnic conflict, intervention and truce-building strategies; bias-based and sexual harassment and sexual violence; working with youth with disabilities or physical, emotional, or mental conditions; working with LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth; cultural competencies (including understanding and addressing racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, adultism/ageism, and other implicit and explicit biases); the impacts of arrest, court, detention, incarceration and/or deportation on youth life chances; effective strategies for building safe schools without relying on suppression; restorative and transformative justice practices; school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports; and/or other positive approaches to school climate and discipline; and
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that CECD1 urges that the New York City Department of Education should immediately terminate its contract with the New York City Police Department; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CECD1 asks that the budget for and oversight of the Division of School Safety should be returned to the Department of Education and use it to hire additional guidance counselors to deal with the trauma our children are experiencing; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CECD1 asks that additional funding be allocated to retrain School Safety Agents in positive approaches to school climate and discipline; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CECD1 members believe that the New York City Police Department, or any other police force, should enter New York City schools only to address threats to physical safety.