Teachers, the NYPD, and Body Cameras

Teachers, the NYPD, and Body Cameras
I taught in an at-risk school in the South Bronx for 4 years.  During that time I engaged with some students who regularly engaged in criminal activities such as prostitution, drugs, theft, and assault.  At times, students witnessed violent crimes in their communities.  As a teacher, I was assaulted twice.  The first time I didn’t call the police despite my colleagues urging me to do so.  The second time I did, and found myself filing a police report.  On another occasion, a student riot that began in the lunchroom fell into my classroom.  Which caused me to have to step into a mob of kids and “break it up”.  (Which, by the way, don’t do because you can get hurt or a child can claim you hurt them.)  I’ve had a violent and emotionally disturbed child (son of a parole officer) leave my classroom, and as I’m going after him to calm him down, he actually punches a wall.  Except it’s not a wall, it’s the forehead of a young child from the school upstairs.  So now I’m applying pressure to this child’s forehead as blood is spewing everywhere to keep him from dying.
I think educators should care about NYPD Body Cameras and what the NYPD does in general.  Some schools have less interactions with the law than others, but nonetheless, every school in NYC has a police presence.  School Safety is within the NYPD.  Even our School Crossing Guards are officially NYPD.  Teachers have a connection to the NYPD in the sense that they help to maintain order in our schools and the community.  Think metal detectors in the high schools, fights after-school, or a Special Education child wandering away from the school building never to be seen again.
The NYPD along with the NYU School of Law Policing Project has asked “individuals and organizations” to voice their opinions regarding body-worn camera policy.  If there are people who are ignorant of the issue or perhaps are not familiar with School Safety issues for teachers and students, I hope I have provided some context to help your understanding.



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