En EspaƱol Know Your Rights
Source: NY1
Subject: Education Justice
Type: Media Coverage

NYCLU: Schools Just As Safe Without Metal Detectors

A
new study released Wednesday closely examines several city high schools and how
they have maintained a safe environment without metal detectors and harsh
discipline.

The
New York Civil Liberties Union, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and
Make the Road New York published the study
called "Safety with Dignity: Alternatives to Over-Policing Schools."

According
to the study, which looked at six public high schools where the populations are
considered at-risk to examine school safety, metal detectors are not needed to
keep schools safe.

The
schools have student safety officers who employ conflict resolution techniques,
such as fairness counsels, where both students and teachers discuss infractions
and how to deal with them.

The
NYCLU says in contrast, there is a growing standard of zero-tolerance policies
at most city schools for minor behavioral problems, which are treated as major
crimes. The study finds that this, in turn, leaves students feeling unwelcome,
penalized by the school system, and feeling that they have no stake in the
school community.

The
study compared the findings of the six schools with 89 with metal detectors as
well as 12 so-called impact schools, which are targeted for more police
presence.

"Students,
some as young as five, that’s kindergarten, were handcuffed or assaulted or
taken to jail for infractions like cursing, talking back, writing on the desk,
refusing to show ID, or turn over cell phones," said Donna Lieberman of
the NYCLU’s findings. "And we’ve seen the emergence of a terrible
phenomenon known as the school-to-prison pipeline, where instead of graduation
and employment or college, large numbers of children, overwhelming low-income,
Black and Latino children, are groomed for jail."

The
study claims that even graduation rates are better at these six schools without
metal detectors.

The
Department of Education says that the study’s claim to better graduation rates
is false.

The
New York City Police Department says major crime in the schools has dropped
nine percent this school year compared to last, and is down 44 percent since
the 2000-2001 school year. The department says that’s because of its
partnership with the schools, not because of an absence of police or school
safety officers.

Additionally,
the NYPD says that metal detectors have helped schools confiscate 22 guns last
year and six guns this year.