YA-YA Network Prioritized Platform to Reform Metal Detectors in NYC Middle and High Schools
Mayor DeBlasio and the School Leadership Team have proposed many positive measures to improve school climate. Increasing support services and expanding Restorative Justice programs will help to build a sense of community and alleviate some of the causes of school push-out. However, when students begin each day confronted by the dehumanizing processes involved in passing through metal detectors, school climate becomes distinctly cold.
The system of metal detectors in New York City works to perpetuate and uphold the school-to-prison pipeline over low income, marginalized people of color. Approximately 100,000 public middle and high school students in New York City are scanned every day by metal detectors. The scanning of students is racially disproportionate: 48% of Black high school students have to pass through a scanner and 38% of Latino HS students must do the same, compared to 14% of Asian students and 14% of white students. This racial breakdown is similar to the racial demographics of New Yorkers who are stopped and frisked. In the first quarter of 2017, New Yorkers were stopped 2,862 times. 57 percent of them were black, 32 percent were latino, and only 9 percent were white. Regulating the use of metal detectors in NYC public middle and high schools will aid in managing the racial profiling and criminalizing of students in schools. Reducing the use of metal detectors combined with the positive measures put forth in the Mayor’s School Climate Initiative and the School Leadership Team’s recommendations will help students feel safer in their schools. They will feel as though they are being protected, and not that other people need to be protected from them. Implementing restorative justice in NYC public middle and high schools will provide public school students with support and mentorship to handle emotional and physical issues, and aid in preventing violence from occurring by directly addressing student conflicts. Restore
Implement the restorative practices included in the Mayor’s School Climate Initiative and recommended by the School Leadership Team, fully funded as proposed by DSC-NY
Implement anti-violence and harm-prevention education programs, including teaching students the dangers of bringing weapons on campus and alternative ways to resolve conflicts
Public policy requiring District Superintendents to collaborate with principals of schools with metal detectors to implement a comprehensive plan to transition from metal detectors to more restorative school safety measures
Train teachers and school staff in non-violent de-escalation tactics
Make public the DOE, OSYD, and SSD’s current criteria for the deployment and removal of metal detectors in individual schools
Pass policy that amends the criteria used to determine if a school qualifies for a change in their metal-detecting status, such that a part of the principal’s request to OSYD must include:
an assessment of the school’s current safety measures, student resources, and disciplinary policy.
a strategy to implement a comprehensive plan to transition from metal detectors to more restorative school safety measures
“Priority Schools”: Removing metal detectors from schools in which the school safety data demonstrates that they are unnecessary and ineffective
Limit the number of metal detector sites that can be in place in a single school district
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