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.