Back to All Press Release

NYCLU Calls For Investigation Into Abuses At A Bronx High School

The New York Civil Liberties Union is calling for a thorough investigation into Department of Education policy on so-called Impact Schools. The NYCLU has received reports of abuse of students’ and parents’ rights by police officers assigned to such schools. The Education Committee of the City Council, chaired by Councilmember Eva Moscowitz, today heard testimony from the NYCLU on this issue.

“Students are entitled to a safe learning environment, but they should not be treated as suspects,” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. “Their schools should not be transformed into jails by a police presence that does not distinguish between criminal activity and infractions of school rules.”

Complaints at one such school, Adlai Stevenson High School in the Bronx, came to a head last week when a highly regarded principal, school aide and student were arrested for trying to prevent a police officer from entering a classroom without permission. The NYCLU has called for the DOE to return the principal to his school. Other complaints launched at Stevenson high school include:


  • Safety officials handcuffing, arresting and detaining students for small infractions such as wearing a hat inside and cursing;
  • Pervasive and invasive pat downs, including male safety officers patting down female students and parents;
  • Students being seriously delayed in attending their classes due to long lines to pass through security pat-downs at the start of the school day.

Such abuse interferes with the educational environment at these schools. Students are entitled to be free from intrusive searches and to be free from random searches that are conducted without suspicion. The Department of Education and the NYPD can be tough on crime without infringing on the rights of students.

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
© 2024 New York
Civil Liberties Union