Incidents where children-in-crisis are shackled and held that way for hours have happened at public schools across the five boroughs of New York City, reports the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. Over 1,500 students were restrained by school safety agents of the New York Police Department (NYPD) from the first quarter of 2019 through the first quarter of 2020, according to data released by the agency. On average for the analyzed year, 89 percent of those restraints were of nonwhite children. Over 1,500 students were restrained during the five quarters analyzed, with only 5.3 percent of those students white. Of those 1,500 incidents, 386 of them were for child-in-crisis incidents.
That restraints are used in a small minority of cases is far less significant than the fact that they are used at all on young children. “Right now, we have more school safety agents than we have guidance counselors and social workers combined,” said Johanna Miller, director of the Education Policy Center at the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). “And that’s just a completely wrong prioritization system.” In the first quarter of 2019, a Black 6-year-old was restrained with metal cuffs. In the second quarter, metal restraints were used on students aged 5-10 five times. In the last quarter of 2019, three students aged 10 and under were restrained with metal cuffs.