The number of such interventions was 24% higher during the first three quarters of the 2019-20 school year than the comparable period in 2016-17, according to the report from Advocates for Children of New York, a nonprofit that seeks help for at-risk children.
Such incidents are part of the long-running debate between advocates who want the officers—called school safety agents—removed from campuses and city officials preparing to transition them by next June from New York Police Department oversight to the purview of the Department of Education.
The police interventions, according to the analysis, disproportionately involved students in the city’s District 75, which caters to students with special needs; Black students; and students in low-income communities such as the Bronx.
Almost half of all interventions between July 2016 and June 2020 involved children between the ages of 4 and 12. In 297 instances, school safety agents—who are unarmed—handcuffed students under the age of 13, including three 5-year-olds, seven 6-year-olds and 23 7-year-olds, the report said.
Photographed for The Wall Street Journal with words by Lee Hawkins
New York Police Interventions With Emotionally Distressed Students Have Increased
Such incidents are part of a debate between advocates who want school safety agents removed from campuses and city officials preparing to transition them to the purview of the Department of Education.