Back to All Press Release

NYCLU Hails Bronx Guild HS Case Dismissals

Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union today praised the decision of the Bronx District Attorney to dismiss criminal charges against Bronx Guild High School Principal Michael Soguero, and to grant an ACD (adjournment in contemplation of dismissal) to the school aide, James Burgos. The pair was arrested for trying to interfere with a police officer who barged into a classroom in the school to issue a summons and arrest a Bronx Guild student for “verbal abuse”.

Lieberman said, “The NYCLU joins parents and students from Bronx Guild to call on the Department of Education not to waste another minute and to reinstate the school principal and aide to their positions in the school. They have already been out of school for too long.” They were removed from school on February 6 and have not been back since.

She added, “The dismissals are important, but do not resolve the ongoing problem that police in schools are inadequately – and possibly improperly — trained about their role. Police guidelines do not properly convey that when it comes to school discipline, the principal is in charge. Police officers do not have authority to enforce school rules or to arrest students for non-criminal infractions.”

In a letter to school officials and the NYPD last month, the NYCLU raised its concerns about the lack of adequate guidelines, but, said Lieberman, “the silence has been deafening.” Unless the DOE and the NYPD make serious changes in policing practices and policies in the schools, there will be more and more incidents like the travesty at Bronx Guild. And instead of making schools safer, the police will be undermining education.

Click here for the NYCLU’s latest letter.

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