FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, POLICE COMMISSIONER KELLY, AND SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR KLEIN ANNOUNCE AN 11 PERCENT DROP IN MAJOR FELONY CRIME IN CITY SCHOOLS DURING THE 2007-08 SCHOOL YEAR
Major Felony Crime Has Declined by 34 Percent during the Bloomberg Administration
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, today announced that major felony crime and violent crime at City public schools dropped substantially during the 2007-08 school year, building on progress over the course of the Administration in reducing school crime. During the 2007-08 school year, 1,042 major crime incidents were reported, compared with 1,166 incidents reported in the 2006-07 school year, representing an 11 percent decrease in major felony crime. Since the 2000-01 school year, the year before Mayor Bloomberg took office, major felony crime has dropped by 34 percent, falling to its current low from a high of 1,577. Violent incidents also decreased, falling 10 percent in the last year and 31 percent since the 2000-01 school year. Schools classified as “Impact Schools” have also experienced a drop in major felony crime. There were only 37 Impact School major crimes in the 2007-08 school year, compared to 87 in the schools’ first years on the Impact list. The Mayor made the announcement at the High School of Graphic Communication Arts in Manhattan, which experienced an 88 percent drop in crime this past school year. School Principal Jerod Resnick joined the Mayor, Commissioner, and the Chancellor for the announcement.
“Student success begins with school safety, and that’s why we continue to working hard to cut crime and violence in schools,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The NYPD, Department of Education and schools officials have all worked collaboratively to ensure that schools are a safe place for students. Their efforts are succeeding and are giving our children the safe learning environments that they deserve – and that all parents have every right to expect.”
“Crime is down city-wide again this year. Crime in the subways is at its lowest in memory, and crime in school is down dramatically. It’s not a coincidence that crime is down on all fronts,” said Commissioner Kelly. “The common denominator in all instances is dedicated police officers. And in the case of the schools – dedicated school safety agents, teamed with police officers, working together with school officials. They have all done great work so children can learn in safety.”
“Safety is a prerequisite to learning in our schools and classrooms. Only when hallways and classrooms are safe and secure can our students concentrate, learn, and excel,” said Chancellor Klein.
“We owe thanks to Commissioner Kelly, our school safety agents, and all of the educators who have worked so hard to make our schools much safer for New York City public school students in the last school year.”
“These historic drops in crime are the product of the combined efforts of all school communities – teachers, administrators, school safety agents and police,” said the Mayor’s Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt. “Safe classrooms and hallways are a critical prerequisite for high academic achievement and healthy social development, and we owe our children nothing less.”
“Parents need to know that their children’s schools are safe, and I am impressed by what we and the Administration have been able to accomplish through collaboration,” said United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. “Now, we must continue our efforts to make every classroom a learning environment free from disruption, and that means strict enforcement of school discipline codes.”
“Educating students in a safe and secure learning environment is paramount to school leaders – that’s why CSA meets regularly with school safety and the NYPD,” said Council of School Supervisors and Administrators President Ernest Logan. “This decline in incidents is a reflection of the hard work of educators and school safety agents, working together to address student issues and to ensure school safety. We must also continue to focus on conflict resolution for our neediest students.”
“At the High School of Graphic Communication Arts, we were effective in reducing crime because we implemented a guidance approach to student issues that helped us address problems before they escalated,” said Principal Resnick. “We could not have done this without the support of Office of School and Youth Development CEO Elayna Konstan and her team, and School Support Organization Network Leader Michael LaForgia and CEO Judith Chin. Thank you.”
Current Impact Schools also showed a decrease in crime. The Impact School program was created four years ago as a partnership between Chancellor Klein and Commissioner Kelly. The goal of the program is to reduce school violence and disorder and create safe learning environments in City public schools. Campus Magnet High School in Queens showed the greatest drop in major felony crimes at Impact Schools with 89 percent fewer major felony crimes in the 2007-08 school year than in the 2006-07 school year when it was first placed on the Impact list. Other schools that showed decreases in major crime are Tilden High School in Brooklyn, which experienced an 83 percent decrease since 2003-04, when it was first added to the list. Newtown High School in Queens experienced a 73 percent decrease in major felony crimes, falling to 4 from 15 since it was added to the list in 2005-06.
Impact Schools are selected through an evaluation of Police Department and Department of Education data. Indicators examined include the total number of incidents at a school, the number of incidents involving assaults (felonies and misdemeanors), the number of incidents involving weapons or dangerous instruments, the number of major crimes, and a qualitative review of school conditions. Troubled schools were also identified through a review of data on safety-related transfers, superintendent suspensions, attendance, and supervisory visits.
For the nine current Impact Schools, major crimes are down 57 percent in the 2007-08 school year compared with the first year each was placed on the Impact list. The current Impact Schools include Beach Channel High School, Campus Magnet, Jamaica High School, Newtown High School and I.S. 291in Queens; Sheepshead Bay, Canarsie, and Tilden High Schools, in Brooklyn, and John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx. Similar data show positive results among the former 19 impact schools where major crimes are down 71 percent compared with the first year each was placed on the Impact list.
The High School of Graphic Communication Arts experienced an 88 percent decrease in major crime, falling to 1 incident this past school year from 8 incidents during the 2006-07 school year.
Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker /Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Paul Browne (Police)
David Cantor (Education)
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