Photo Courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill – and new friend Kermit – celebrated the safe-school statistics at MS 88 in Brooklyn.
By Forum Staff
The de Blasio administration on Tuesday announced that the 2016-17 school year was the safest on record, with an 18-percent decrease in major crime since the 2014-15 year. The City Police Department also shared safety data showing that the number of school-based arrests and summons in schools has continued to decrease.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the positive numbers are a result of strengthened collaboration between the NYPD and the Department of Education, which has improved safety while using school discipline programs that are “fairer and more effective.” Additionally, according to the administration, there has been a large decline in schools designated by the State Education Department as “persistently dangerous.”
Safety data also demonstrates an 8-percent decrease in school-related arrests and an 11-percent decrease in the number of summonses issued by the School Safety Division during the 2016-17 school year,compared to the 2015-2016 school year.
“All students need a safe and supportive learning environment to succeed in the classroom and make a positive impact in the community. Thanks to the hard work of the NYPD and the Department of Education, families can rest assured that our school buildings are safe places,” de Blasio said. “The impacts of our investments in school climate and mental health programs are clear: Crime is at an all-time low and graduation is at an all-time high.”
The NYPD and DOE noted that they have focused on referring more minor incidents to school administrators in lieu of criminal justice responses. According to the agencies, by holding youth accountable and implementing school-based interventions, the City is minimizing their court involvement and giving students resources and opportunities to stay on the path toward college and careers.
“Our schools are the safest they’ve ever been and the continued decrease in crime, school-related arrests and summonses shows that our investments in proactive and positive school discipline interventions are making a significant impact,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Ensuring students and staff are safe always comes first and our work to build on this progress and promote inclusive learning environments is ongoing – we are increasing training and providing schools with resources to hold students accountable while still getting at the underlying cause of conflicts.”
Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill added, “We are proud of the joint efforts between the Department of Education and the New York City Police Department, in keeping our young people safe. The work that is evident in our schools today is also being realized across this city with significant reductions in crime and violence.”