The New York Civil Liberties Union has spent the last few years arguing that police officers are too aggressive in public schools. Today, it is spotlighting a Queens high school where a 16-year-old says police beat him so forcefully that he had to have surgery. Other students at the school also say they have been assaulted by safety agents.
Yesterday, NYCLU sent a letter to Chancellor Klein and police commissioner Ray Kelly calling on them to investigate the allegations of abuse. At a press conference this afternoon, at Hillcrest High School in Queens, they will make this demand publicly, and will also call on the City Council to pass the Student Safety Act, which would increase oversight of the more than 5,000 safety agents in city schools.
NYCLU’s letter, obtained by GothamSchools, says the school’s administration has not responded to complaints about alleged abuse:
It is our understanding that several students and at least one community organization have approached the school’s administration about these reports in hopes of remedying the situation. These attempts have been fruitless, according to the organization, as the administration has turned a deaf ear to these concerns.
Just a few weeks ago, a student at Robert F. Kennedy High School in Queens filed a lawsuit alleging that a school safety agent there kicked open a restroom stall door, injuring him. NYCLU has filed a complaint with the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau on his behalf.
A Department of Education spokesperson said she cannot comment on pending litigation.