NY Daily News: “A 12-year-old Queens girl was hauled out of school in handcuffs for an artless offense – doodling her name on her desk in erasable marker, the Daily News has learned. Alexa Gonzalez was scribbling a few words on her desk Monday while waiting for her Spanish teacher to pass out homework at Junior High School 190 in Forest Hills, she said. “I love my friends Abby and Faith,” the girl wrote, adding the phrases “Lex was here. 2/1/10″ and a smiley face. . . . She was led out of school in cuffs and walked to the precinct across the street . . . .”
“This should be a wake-up call to the mayor, the City Council and the Department of Education: There is a crisis in our schools because they put the police in charge of routine discipline that ought to be handled by educators,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU. . . .
Since the NYPD took control of public school safety in New York City in 1998, more than 5,000 School Safety Officers, NYPD employees assigned to the schools, and nearly 200 armed police officers have been assigned to the city’s public schools. This massive presence makes the NYPD’s School Safety Division the nation’s fifth largest police force – larger than the police forces in Washington D.C., Detroit, Boston, Baltimore, Dallas, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Diego or Las Vegas. The number of police personnel assigned to patrol New York City public schools has grown by 73 percent since the transfer of school safety to the NYPD, even though school crime was declining prior to the 1998 transfer and even though student enrollment is at its lowest point in more than a decade.