The head of the city’s Association of School Safety Agents wants public advocate Jumaine Williams to show some evidence to support her claim that her officers often read to students.
In a hearing last week on the change of school safety duties from the NYPD to the Department of Education, Williams alleged that “many students report verbal, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of school safety agents.”
Williams also stated that students have limited opportunities to report malpractice and that the NYPD and the Department of Education do not provide sufficient data on the issue.
Greg Floyd, head of the Security Agents Union, who opposes handing over responsibility for school safety to the DOE, gave Williams a letter on Tuesday and called on him to provide support for his misconduct claims.
In the letter, Floyd said they had become a “political punching bag” for “a whole host of problems in our educational system” and that he was “disturbed” by statements from public attorneys about the abuse.
“At the hearing, you did not provide any additional information about such alleged incidents,” he wrote.
Floyd said he hoped Williams would have “investigated those incidents and referred any actionable evidence of those incidents to law enforcement officers.”
He asked her to submit a report of misconduct.
“If you have any additional information about incidents claimed to have been ‘verbal, physical and sexual abuse by school safety agents, I welcome a full investigation into those incidents,” Floyd said.
School security agents are 90 percent African-American and Hispanic and 70 percent female.
Union chiefs oppose handing over security controls to DOE or removing agents from city schools, arguing that doing so would result in a drastic drop in security.
At last week’s hearing, City Council Danek Miller said agents often come from communities that serve them and are seen less as hostile officers than as sources of stability.
Behind the plan to remove them from schools or change their command structure, they say they promote a criminal environment and more money should go to social workers and consultants.
While he supported a completely new school safety framework last week, Williams said that not all agents could be “painted with the same brush” and that they would be employed if they were removed from schools. Must be provided with other forms.
Williams and other city officials support a “restorative justice” model for school safety that focuses on social and emotional support.
His representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.