October 30, 2014
There are more than 5,000 school safety officers in New York City. Current guidelines permit them to handcuff students, even if they are only 5 years old, when the student “poses imminent danger of serious physical harm to self or others.” Physical restraint, however, should be “discontinued as soon as imminent danger of serious or physical harm […] has dissipated,” the guidelines state. The NYCLU — which has sued the NYPD in the past for its use of force in schools, as well as for wrongfully arresting students — called for sweeping changes in the way the city’s students are disciplined. “School discipline is a matter for educators, not police,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.