Rules Unclear In School Psych Room Emergencies

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A civil rights group says New York Police Department officers have taken at least two public school students to psychiatric emergency rooms last year, but it's not clear what the rules are for doing so.

The New York Civil Liberties Union requested information about the practice from both the Education and Police departments in March. Donna Lieberman is the group's executive director.

LIEBERMAN: When it comes to school safety matters and discipline matters the department of education often says, 'Oh we don't know anything about that, that's the police department.' Well, for the public it's about what's going on in our schools.

REPORTER: One of the students removed for psychiatric care was a 5-year-old throwing a tantrum. The other was a teenager using a cellphone.

The NYCLU has filed a lawsuit against the Police Department seeking more information. The NYPD says it's reviewing the group's request. The City's Education Department has not responded to a call for comment.


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