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Handcuffed 7-Year-Old Sheds Light on NYPD in Schools

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reports about the arrest and handcuffing of a 7-year-old boy following an incident at a Bronx public school are putting a spotlight how police handle school discipline.

Eight hundred eighty-two students at school were arrested in the 2011-2012 school year and the group Advocates for Children says that number could be a lot lower with proper training of staff and school safety agents.

“More resources need to be pulled into training systems for school staff and school safety officers and generally increasing mental health services for youth,” said Bernard Dufresne, a lawyer with Advocates for Children.

Dufresne spoke Wednesday with WNYC’s Amy Eddings. Click above to hear audio.

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Comments [1]

cynthia fabian from Somerset, NJ

As a former teacher, I can tell you that if a child commits a crime, there is no real way to discipline the child. This is very unusual, in the Bronx, where I spent 5 years of my teaching career, a student could assault a teacher and be able to walk the halls until he or she went in front of a disciplinary board. Then they would be transferred to another school and it would probably be Taft HS, or other school that handled disciplinary problems. This is a little known bad solution as it corrals, for lack of a better word, children with like disciplinary problems.

If left with other children with similar problems, they could never learn to correct what is wrong and why they did it to begin with. Isn't school supposed to teach and adjust behavior, rather than punish. And handcuffs, believe me this is not the norm, in my schools only the office could call the police. It was a common law that the school would handle the problems with the dean before police were called in to handle the problem. Teachers do not have authority to call 911.

Things are handled improperly, but often if the wrong administrator handles it, the situation can be disastrous.

Feb. 01 2013 09:59 AM

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