Education plays a vital in society. It is one of the key fundamentals for societal growth and development. It is forever evolving for the better of mankind. With its development come some concerns about its progress. Progress in content of, the education provided the materials necessary in classes, school code and many more. One concern in particular is school safety. From elementary (Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting) to universities ( Virginia Tech Massacre) school safety has always been a main concern for government, administrations, communities, and families.
School safety plays a major role in the structure of education children receive. Currently in New York City, are there are 1847 public schools and 31 school districts in all five boroughs. New York City is currently serving more than 1. 3 milllion children in public schools. Within these schools, to protect the children there are policies in place to make sure that there is school safety. If these policies were to disregarded there are consequences and punishments.
New York City Schools exercise the Zero Tolerance Policy. The Zero Tolerance Policy ensures the safety of children, teachers and administration by creating punishments like detention or suspension for students that may have a weapon, such as a gun or knife, on school grounds; using drugs or alcohol on school grounds, as well as threatening other students or school staff with physical violence. The zero tolerance policy is now a policy most schools strictly follow. The zero tolerance policy is harsh on children.
Administrations are now shadowing in on children and disproportionally. There are metal detectors, doubled the number of school safeties officers, and the involvement of the New York Police Department in the schools within the middle and high schools in the communities of majority black and brown children. Many school districts now have zero tolerance policies that greatly limit discretion in individual cases, involve law enforcement personnel, and mandate removing students from school.
These policies generally require out of school suspension or expulsion on the first offence for a variety of behaviors initially instituted for possession of a weapon or illegal drugs, but now frequently also including smoking tobacco or fighting in school. The administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg enacted few policies to ensure safety in schools. In 2003, Mayor Bloomberg announced a new disciplinary code calling of an “immediate, consistent minimum response to even the most minor violations of a school’s disciplinary policy.
This disciplinary code would impose suspension upon students for “cursing” and “disorderly behavior” and would supposedly stop students from more serious, criminal like behavior in the future. This new disciplinary required a more narrow scope on what children were doing. There began an increase in suspensions. Suspenisons have more than doubled during the Bloomberg administration. There are two types of suspensions children can be subject to. One is the Principal’s suspension.
Under principal’s suspension students may be suspended for up to five days at the discretion of the school’s principal. There is no actual limit to the number of days a child can be suspended for but families and students can appeal the suspension days. The other form of suspension is the Superintendent’s suspension. The superintendent’s suspension has some infractions; it can be imposed for a whole academic year ir 180 days of instruction. The average superintendent’s suspension is 23 days to about a month of instruction.
Apart from suspensions NYC students can face expulsion or arrests and summonses. These tools that are being used to help maintain school safety are not as effective as they are thought to be. They are looked as targeted at children in less fortunate communities. They are disproportionally targeting children of Black and Hispanic communities. The schools are creating a school-to-prison pipeline for less fortunate children.
A 2007 investigate report by Chicago Tribune ound that the percentage of black students suspended was greater than their percentage of the student population in every state but Idaho. Many children who are growing up within complicated homes are not given the chance to be fully analyzed before being taken to juvenile centers or even worse jail. Minor offences like cursing a teacher are now being punished with cuffs or a summons. A new action should be implemented in schools to help children continue their education and not isolate them from the classrooms.
A new action should put into policies that will allow children to look at their wrong and fully evaluate their conditions. A new policy like restorative justice needs to be implemented in the schools safety code. Restorative justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime. When victims, offenders and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results can be transformation. It focuses on mediation and agreement rather than punishment