Student Safety Act Filing Reveals Troubling Suspension Patterns in NYC Schools

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
November 1, 2011 12:00 am

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New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman tonight issued the following statement in response to filings by the Department of Education and the NYPD pursuant to the Student Safety Act.

“We are pleased that the city has met its obligation to report on student suspensions in a timely fashion. However, we are chagrined that suspension rates in New York City schools appear to have increased over the past year and that racial disparities continue to persist. The rate of suspensions for 2010-11 school year is more than double what it was at the beginning of the Bloomberg administration. Black students comprise 33 percent of the student population, but 52 percent of suspensions. Students with special needs also continue to suffer disproportionately from excessive suspensions.

“If the mayor is truly committed to his Young Men’s Initiative, he will pay close attention to this data and take meaningful steps to reduce the number of suspensions that are associated with educational failure and involvement in the criminal justice system.”

The NYCLU and other advocates were unable to fully analyze the data because the city released it late in the day to the press only. More detailed analysis will become available in the coming days when the general public can finally access the full reports.

Earlier this year, the New York Civil Liberties Union released a report documenting sharp increases in the number and duration of student suspensions during the Bloomberg administration. That report, Education Interrupted, is available online at: http://www.nyclu.org/publications/report-education-interrupted-growing-u…‘s-public-schools->

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