More than a dozen youth groups in a letter to New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Monday urged him to completely remove police officers from the education system and oppose transferring officers from the NYPD to the Department of Education.
The letter comes amid a broader push from some advocates to end the presence of police in schools in the wake of George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis and a broader national debate over the future of policing and law enforcement policy.
"As Black and Brown students across New York City, we know firsthand the trauma and danger caused by police in our public schools," the groups wrote in the letter. "We have been stopped and searched on our way to class. We have been treated like criminals as soon as we walk through our school doors. We have been handcuffed by police in our school buildings because of the color of our skin. Enough is enough."
Advocates argue the presence of police do not deter bullying or fighting in schools, nor are they properly equipped to handle mental health needs.
"The data is clear: cops in our schools criminalize young people along racial lines at disproportionate rates with near impunity," they wrote. "Black and Brown students continue to make up 90% of students arrested in our schools. Keeping cops in our schools means we will continue to be policed and harassed for the color of our skin — in the very buildings that are supposed to teach and support us."