Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner O’Neill and Chancellor Fariña Announce Safest School Year on Record

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner James O’Neill and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced that the 2016-17 school year was the safest school year on record, with an 18 percent decrease in major crime since the 2014-15 school year. The NYPD also shared safety data showing that the number of school-based arrests and summons in schools has continued to decrease.

“All students need a safe and supportive learning environment to succeed in the classroom and make a positive impact in the community. Thanks to the hard work of the NYPD and the Department of Education, families can rest assured that our school buildings are safe places,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The impacts of our investments in school climate and mental health programs are clear: crime is at an all-time low and graduation is at an all-time high.”

As a result of strengthened collaboration between the NYPD and the NYC Department of Education, this administration’s school climate reforms have improved safety in schools while using school discipline programs that are fairer and more effective. There has been a large decline in schools designated by the State Education Department as “persistently dangerous.” When comparing the 2015 to 2017 school year, only two NYC public schools retaining that designation down from 27.

This data demonstrates an 8 percent decrease in school-related arrests and a 11 percent decrease in the number of summonses issued by the School Safety Division during the 2016-17 school year compared to the 2015-2016 school year.

“This school year set a new record in safety. We are proud of the joint efforts between the Department of Education and the New York City Police Department, in keeping our young people safe,” said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “The work that is evident in our schools today is also being realized across this City with significant reductions in crime and violence.”

“Our schools are the safest they’ve ever been and the continued decrease in crime, school-related arrests and summonses shows that our investments in proactive and positive school discipline interventions are making a significant impact,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

“Ensuring students and staff are safe always comes first and our work to build on this progress and promote inclusive learning environments is ongoing – we are increasing training and providing schools with resources to hold students accountable while still getting at the underlying cause of conflicts.”

As part of the administration’s commitment to providing a safe, supportive, inclusive and equitable learning environment in every school building, the City is investing $47 million annually to support the expansion of school climate resources and mental health programs. This includes additional training on restorative practices, de-escalation techniques and crisis intervention procedures.

The NYPD and DOE continue to work in close partnership to ensure the safety of students, staff and families, and have focused on referring more minor incidents to school administrators in lieu of criminal justice responses. By holding youth accountable and implementing school-based interventions, the City is minimizing their court involvement and giving students resources and opportunities to stay on the path toward college and careers.

The School Safety Data is posted [HERE].