Skip to content
SA Together Again: We’re back in classrooms and taking learning to new levels!
Blog

Mission Possible

Stories and insights on excellent education.

Open Letter to Mayor de Blasio on School Safety Agents

Mayor Bill de Blasio
Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza
City Hall
New York NY 10007

Dear Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza,

I’m writing to call upon you to make school safety agents independent of the Police Department. They should be transferred to the Department of Education or another City agency and should receive training that is more relevant to the schooling context.

The horrific instances of police brutality that we’ve witnessed in recent weeks and years require that we re-examine everything we are doing so that we can purge our country of the institutional racism that is so destructive to the hopes and aspirations of our nation’s people of color. In furtherance of that goal, many members of the Success Academy community have expressed to me their belief that school safety agents should no longer be part of the police department, and I agree with them.

Since 37 of Success’s schools are co-located in public school buildings, our students have daily contact with school safety agents. While we have good relations with our agents, their status as police officers hinders those relations, particularly in the current climate. Moreover, the skills school safety agents need differ from those of a police officer. They must be trained in de-escalation and dealing with the issues faced by children and youth. Breaking up a fight between a couple of second graders or calming down a student who is under stress due to family issues is fundamentally different than stopping a bank robbery or arresting a violent criminal. While the police will inevitably be required in some instances where the safety of students or school personnel is threatened, we should start with the presumption that our students are children in need of help, not criminals in need of policing.

It bears observation that school safety agents weren’t part of the police department until 1999, when Mayor Rudolph Giuliani transferred them over the strong objections of Chancellors Ramon Cortines and Rudy Crew. Over a year ago, your own School Diversity Advisory Group advised you to transfer school safety agents back to the Department of Education. In light of recent events, that recommendation was particularly prescient. I urge you to reconsider your rejection of that recommendation.

Sincerely,
Eva Moskowitz
Founder & CEO
Success Academy

Written by Success Academy June 8, 2020

Blog

Related posts

Protecting the planet, one world-class school at a time

November 12, 2021 Success Academy

Over the past two weeks, all eyes were on world leaders as they convened in Glasgow for the 2021 Climate Change Conference; the health of our planet has never been more critical. At Success Academy, our standard for excellence includes an investment in sustainability and an environmentally responsible approach to our operations and physical spaces.   ... Read more

Thank you to the veterans in our community!

November 10, 2021 Success Academy

The call to military service is not answered lightly, and those who sign up to serve our nation are often some of the most mission-driven people among us. It should come as no surprise, then, that so many veterans continue to serve their communities in some form after their military careers.  We’re lucky to have... Read more

“Happy Children Learn Better” – An SA parent reflects on the return to campus

October 7, 2021 Success Academy

Success Academy reopened its doors to scholars across the city in August, safely ushering students back into the classroom after an unprecedented 2020-21 school year. To keep our scholars safe — and learning — it’s more important than ever that we work together with families and guardians to ensure everyone in our community is on... Read more

Enroll your child

We’re now accepting K-4 applications for the 2022-2023 school year.

Work with us

Build your career while making an impact at Success Academy.