UYC Responds to Commissioner Bratton’s “control your kids” Remarks

Police Commissioner Bratton’s comments  admonishing Black and Latina/o parents to “control their kids,” is a clear indication that law enforcement in this city is not willing to be held accountable for the historic and systemic lack of accountability within the department for brutality and shows that leadership in the department is not willing to eliminate policies and practices that violate our civil rights. That lack of accountability and “broken windows” theory of policing has followed us into our schools and resulted in Black, Latina/o, and LGBT students being criminalized, over policed, and pushed out of schools and into the criminal justice system. On March 26th, 2015, a high school student in Brooklyn was thrown to the ground, handcuffed and detained twice for refusing to remove a safety pin that was holding together his broken glasses. None of the officers involved from the NYPD School Safety Division and the local precinct have been held accountable for their actions. We are subject to daily harassment from the NYPD school safety agents and NYPD school uniformed officers in and around our schools. Bratton remarked, “you can’t leave control of the kids to the cops,” except in New York City schools that is exactly what we have done. The NYPD controls school discipline issues that should be handled by school administrators and without a clear Memorandum of Understanding between the NYPD and DOE, we have no system of accountability for police in our schools. Additionally, students are not allowed to make formal complaints about the NYPD school safety division to the CCRB. All complaints are handled internally by the NYPD. So until Commissioner Bratton and the NYPD are prepared to take full responsibility for the actions and behaviors of their officers, and to change discriminatory policies and practices, our role will continue to be to hold them accountable.