Gotbaum on School Safety


Betsy Gotbaum held a press conference on the City Hall steps today to talk about school safety. Interestingly, she seemed to come at the issue from a civil liberties point of view. (She held the press conference jointly with NYCLU head Donna Lieberman.)

In criticizing the Bloomberg administration’s efforts to reduce crime in public schools — the mayor’s management report cited a sharp increase in safety incidents — Gotbaum said this:

“Turning a few schools into armed camps in the Impact Program is not the solution. We can’t reasonably expect parents to send their children to dangerous schools and we certainly can’t expect teachers to teach in them.”

I asked Gotbaum if it was an issue of not having enough enforcement, or of having too much.

Her answer:

“The answer to question is that it’s both. We have to revisit the entire policy. I don’t believe that the armed camps approach, the Impact schools, have been working. It can’t work in all the schools in the city.”

She added, “It seems to me that adults who don’t treat kids with respect are, in the long run, going to get it right back.”

— Azi Paybarah Gotbaum on School Safety