Monday, May 7, 2012

Police in the Schools: Rally and March from Lehman HS Today

I spent almost my entire career without police in the schools. The people at the desk checking you in were school aides. In some quarters this may be controversial and let's assume there is a need for a security force in some schools, this force should not be under the control of the NYPD.

I would say it should be under the control of the principal but given the ditcatorship and lunacy of so many of these people I can imagine shoot to kill orders for teachers who raise questions about the school leadership team. Or a principal like Darlene Miller featured by Sue Edelman in the NY Post for being absent. And drunk. But no digging on her history of harassing teachers.

So the question of how to deal with a security force and things like metal detectors which I -- from a distance of course - oppose.

When I interviewed Carol Burris at her high school in Rockville Center on Friday for our new film I did jokingly ask her where the metal detectors were. Let's face it, no matter where you stand the idea of putting mostly black and brown kids through these detectors and an occupying police force with cops without the training or experience educators and social workers have in dealing with them makes for a very different high school experience than suburban white kids get. If you want to spell that r-a-c-i-s-m go right ahead.

ON MONDAY, MAY 7th @ 3:30pm.........................

For Immediate Release
March from Lehman H.S. to the Bronx 45th Precinct to file a complaint against officers who harass & terrorize our students.
Sixteen-year-old Malik Ayala, a student of Lehman High School, waiting to take an important examination, became the target of all kinds of hustle interrogation in the hallway of the school. Demands were made for his ID, records, documents, first by Peace Officers, then by his dean and then by police officers. And he was told, that the literature he planned to hand out to fellow students was illegal, because it had the symbol of a black panther. Finally he was issued a summons for disorderly conduct. Because of all this, he was forced to miss that very important examination.
Less than two weeks later, after observing someone being arrested in the subway, Malik took out his phone and began video recording the police actions. Police officers demanded to see the phone, slammed him against the wall and searched him despite Malik's refusal to agree to let them do so, which was his legal right. Once again Malik was served with a summons for disorderly conduct.
This is not a unique case. Many of our youth, predominantly of color, go through the same experience daily in their schools and communities. On Monday May 7th there will be a march of fellow students and Bronx community residents to file complaints against officers, who are harassing youth of color.
Who: People Power Movement, Lehman High School students, Bronx community.
What: March to 45th Precinct in the Bronx. 
Where: Meet at Lehman High school 3000 East Tremont, Bronx NY 10461.
(Take #6 train to Westchester Square)
When: Monday, May 7th,  at 3:30pm.               
In schools, where youth of color predominate, young people treated not like  students, but criminals. There are metal detectors and Peace Officers. Police officers are called in routinely. Apparently the aim is to condition the students to be subjects of a police state, to create an atmosphere of intimidation and to establish a pipeline from school to prison.
Contact:  Jason Javier     +1(917) 496-3314

               Mark Torres     646-696-8485
By the way, I an interviewing Mark Torres for the film later this week.

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