NYPD personnel assigned to New York City's public schools have repeatedly violated students' civil rights through wrongful arrests and the excessive use of force, according to a class action federal lawsuit filed today by the New York Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union and the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. The landmark lawsuit challenges the conduct and behavior of police officers and school safety officers (SSOs) serving in the NYPD's School Safety Division. It was filed on behalf of five middle school and high school students who were physically abused and wrongfully arrested at school by NYPD personnel. The plaintiffs seek system-wide reform in New York City's middle schools and high schools.
- A return of disciplinary decisions traditionally dealt with by school administrators to New York City's school administrators.
- Mandatory training of SSOs regarding conduct relating to arrests, searches and the use of force. Officers must get training for working in an educational environment and must be taught the difference between the penal code and the disciplinary code when it comes to arresting students.
- A transparent and meaningful mechanism for students and parents to file complaints against members of the NYPD's School Safety Division.
- Revision of the policies and procedures regarding discipline of members of the NYPD's School Safety Division who are found to have committed abuses, including their removal from having future contact with youth where appropriate.