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Campaign Updates

09/22/2017

NYC Youth Rally Against Discriminatory School Policing Policies Doing Disproportionate Harm to Black and Latino youth

Two hundred young people unite to urge Mayor to end arrests, summons, and juvenile reports in schools for misdemeanors and non-criminal violations

09.22.17

 

New York, NY – A group of two hundred advocates, led by high school students, took to the steps of the Department of Education today and marched to Manhattan Criminal Summons court calling for the end of arrests, summons, and NYPD juvenile reports in schools for misdemeanors and non-criminal violations.

"New York City has been criminalizing Black and Latino students for normal youthful behavior for decades. It’s 2017, and we are the only young people getting arrested, summons, and handcuffed. It can’t be acceptable that we are treated differently because of the color of our skin,” said Matthew Beeston, a youth leader of Future of Tomorrow and the Urban Youth Collaborative.

During the last year, young people in New York City schools experienced 1,106 arrests, 960 NYPD juvenile reports, 805 summons, and 2,702 mental health crises where the NYPD responded. Reforms put in place have led to a reduction in arrests and summons, but Black and Latino youth account for nearly all the young people funneled into the school-to-prison pipeline and are increasingly vulnerable to the school-to-deportation pipeline.

An analysis of the most recent NYPD data completed by The Urban Youth Collaborative and Center for popular Democracy shows that Black and Latino youth represent 67% of all students but account for 92.4% of all students arrested, 88.6% of students receiving summons, 88.8% of NYPD juvenile reports, and 96% of students handcuffed during a mental health crisis. Nearly 78% of all arrests, summons, and juvenile reports in schools are for misdemeanors and non-criminal violations.

“Schools should be sanctuaries full of love and respect, not a place where we are still pushed into the criminal justice system. Students of color can’t find sanctuaries until our school system stops feeding youth into Rikers and detention centers,” said Irma Barrios, youth leader at Make The Road New York and the Urban Youth Collaborative.

The racial disparities among young people who are handcuffed by the NYPD during a mental health crisis are especially shocking. The NYPD responded to over 2,700 “child-in-crisis,” incidents at schools. Black and Latino youth accounted for 96% of all students handcuffed by the NYPD during “child-in-crisis” incidents. The youngest student handcuffed during a “child-in-crisis” incident was a five year-old Black girl. Students of color in need of mental, social, and emotional support are instead being traumatized by responses relying on the NYPD.

Speakers at the rally argued that dismantling the racial disparities rife in the school-to-prison and school-to-deportation pipelines requires embracing transformative policy reform. They called for the Mayor to end the use of arrests, summons, and juvenile reports for misdemeanors and non-criminal violations.

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Contact: Kesi Foster kesi_foster@urbanyouthcollaborative.org 646.404.4947