City and State Op-Ed: Lesson on School Discipline from South Carolina to NYC

BY MIAIJA JAWARA AND KESI FOSTER | NOV 04, 2015

When the world saw the recent video of a white police officer brutalizing a young black woman in her high school classroom in South Carolina by putting her into a chokehold, flipping her over in her desk and throwing her across the classroom, we were horrified. Sadly, we weren’t surprised. Unfortunately, videos and images of police brutality against black children and women have become so common, the hashtags so familiar, that #assaultatSpringValleyHigh was all too similar to #mckinneypoolparty, an attack on a 14-year-old black girl by a white police officer at a kids’ pool party in Texas.

In New York City, more than 90,000 high school students go through metal detectors every morning, and almost all of them are black and Latino. Black and Latino students make up 69 percent of all students, but account for 89 percent of all students suspended and 94 percent of all students that are arrested. While the numbers for suspensions and arrests have declined, we will not know the full extent of arrests, criminal summons and suspensions in our schools until the NYPD and Department of Education release the data that must now be collected as part of recent amendments to the Student Safety Act. As of now, the arrest and summons data only reflect the NYPD’s School Safety Division and do not include the number of arrests and summons carried out by local precinct officers.

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