NYC education officials announce new policies aimed for safer school environments
Education officials announced several new policies they hope will keep New York City students safe for the new school year this fall.
The Department of Education says it's committed to making sure schools stay a sanctuary for students. Chancellor David Banks says the city is improving emergency training for school leaders, such as what to do in case of an active shooter.
Over the summer, the department said it looked into how well current safety measures, like panic buttons and alarms, were working. They reportedly found more than 1,000 issues that they say should be addressed by Thursday.
However, school safety agents have a complicated history. Last year, hundreds of students and parents protested against police in schools.
Data from the American Civil Liberties Union shows that nationally, Black students are more than three times as likely to be arrested by law enforcement than their white classmates.
The chancellor spoke about this today, emphasizing that while he believes school safety agents are necessary to keep schools safe, it's also important that schools don't feel like jails.
The chancellor also said that the department will be reassigning social workers and counselors to make sure that all schools have the resources they need to support the emotional and mental health of the student body.
In addition, Banks announced a new initiative called Project Pivot. It will connect schools with anti-violence organizations, which they say sometimes meet a need that police cannot.