Adopted Mission Statement

In late July 2015, the de Blasio administration issued a new Mission Statement on School Climate and Discipline, adopting one of the Leadership Team’s recommendations. This Mission Statement is below.

The New York City Mayor’s Office, Department of Education and New York City Police Department believe the City’s schools must foster environments most conducive to learning. We believe all children deserve such environments and that all children have the potential to learn and succeed. That means, first and foremost, that our schools must be safe. It also means that in keeping them safe, we must preserve their essential character as places of learning.

New York City believes that overly punitive methods of discipline are not in the best interests of students, fail to advance school safety and can harm students’ long-term potential. Research has shown that students facing disciplinary measures, and the schools they attend, are better served by providing positive supports that teach students the social, emotional and behavioral skills necessary to participate and learn. Therefore, New York City will train school personnel and safety personnel in research-driven best practices on how to provide these supports, including providing enhanced support to students with special needs or those suffering from trauma due to exposure to poverty or violence.  Recognizing that some schools will need additional resources as well as training, New York City will provide the staffing support needed to implement progressive forms of discipline in particularly high-need schools. We will build on local and national models to simultaneously improve school climate and safety.  In this way, New York City will reduce the use of suspensions as a disciplinary tool and will eliminate the use of summonses and arrests for minor school misbehavior while continuing to advance school safety.

New York City does not tolerate discrimination and will use every tool to eliminate inconsistencies and disparities in the punishment of students based on race, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.

Progress So Far

  • The City has placed School Climate Managers in each of the Borough Field Support Centers to support school staff in promoting a safe and supportive school climate and culture. The managers will examine issues faced by at-risk youth and design and promote innovative strategies to address them. School Climate Managers will offer on-the-ground support for school staff-particularly in high-need schools.
  • In addition to new School Climate Managers, the DOE is hiring an additional 63 guidance counselors and 50 substance abuse experts to advance the City's school climate efforts.
  • NYPD is developing protocols to assess the need for permanent metal detectors at specific schools and will develop an evaluation tool to ensure scanning is done in the most respectful and efficient manner possible.
  • Working with the Leadership Team, the NYPD and DOE are collaborating to develop and pilot a Warning Card Program. The program will allow Police Officers and School Safety Agents to issue warning cards for certain low level offenses in lieu of a criminal court summons. As part of the program, after a Warning Card is issued to a student, a school official will contact the student's parents or guardian and the incident will be handled administratively by the school.
  • Furthermore, NYPD is minimizing the use of handcuffing, particularly for children under 12 years-old, and will report all instances of handcuffing to the public starting in January of 2016.