would you assure safety and order in the schools? What changes
need to be made in reporting or prevention?
HB: I [have] supported the placement of police in the schools.
I feel that most principals did not want to let people know what
was going on in their schools because it make him look bad. All
kinds of crimes are labeled as “incidents” and suppressed. Police
in the schools will see to it that criminal acts are appropriately
There will be zero tolerance for disruptive behavior and violence
in the schools. No student has the right to deny others the right
to learn. Schools must proactively establish a pro-learning disciplined
environment. Where this attempt fails, we must instantly remove
disruptive ones from the classroom and
put them elsewhere in the school build–
ing. We need special classrooms and monitors to attend to disruptive
children while social workers and teachers attempt to alter their
behavior. A new state law requires this, but provides limited
funding. Finally, the NYPD must retain command and control of
school safety officers. Students and police should get to know
each other in non-adversarial ways through the school system.
Our public school system does a fair job at keeping children
safe, but it can do better. Turning school safety officers over
to the NYPD is not enough. I believe that we need safe zones around
our schools along with safe routes to school, both programs that
I have supported in my 14 years as Bronx Borough President. We
must engage our parents so that they are partners and a strong
physical presence in their children’s schools. And I believe strongly
that we need a restructured Office of Special Investigations that
is accountable to the Mayor and to the BoE so that we can be assured
that all crimes on school grounds are investigated thoroughly.
As Mayor, my top priority will be reducing the number of students
in each classroom. This is an essential step to ensure safety
in schools because smaller classes allow teachers to know their
students better so that they can recognize any behavioral problems
or concerns. The development of smaller schools will also ensure
the safety of our children. Over 200 new small schools have been
created around the City, many by community-based organizations.
The results are clear: 20 percent more students graduate in four
years from these schools than at regular high schools. Smaller
classes and smaller schools offer learning environ-ments that
are both safer and more effective.
We need a greater police presence in the schools. We need
cameras in the schools with the worst records of violence—cameras
in the hallways and stairwells, motion detectors and doorway locks
Teachers and school employees need to be held accountable
for doing their part to protect our children while under their
care. Currently, I am working with the Mayor, the BoE and the
Police Department to enact a law that will require a teacher or
other school employee who sees a crime occur or has reasonable
cause to believe that a crime will occur, to report the incident
to the police. We also need to work on preventing violence. Under
my leadership, the Council has funded programs to help reduce
violence, such as a conflict resolution program in schools and
the Reduce Children’s Violence Program. We must also seek to prevent
violence by teaching our children right from wrong. That is why
I implemented the L.I.V.E. (Lessons in Values Education) program
in public schools in the early 1990s that teaches students the
core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, kindness, freedom
and non-violence. If I am elected Mayor, I will expand this program
to every classroom and make it a central tenet of my school reform.
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