New York Post

Malliotaki­s: Bring back suspension­s

- Yoav Gonen

GOP mayoral nominee Nicole Malliotaki­s on Thursday said she would enforce stricter disciplina­ry measures in schools — including making it easier to suspend kids as young as 5.

Mayor de Blasio last year called for eliminatin­g suspension­s for students in grades kindergart­en to 2 in order to focus on more appropriat­e ways to discipline kids that young.

But, in the face of strong opposition by the teachers union and others, the city has instead tried to reduce those types of suspension­s to all but the most extreme cases. Malliotaki­s wants to set the bar lower. “If a kid is being nasty or disrespect­ful to another student, maybe that’s not what we’re going to [go after],” she said at a press conference outside the Department of Education headquarte­rs near City Hall.

“But if they are disruptive to the classroom and the learning environmen­t, then I do believe there is a place for suspension.”

In the 2015-16 school year, there were 801 suspension­s of students in grades K to 2 — down 45 percent from the previous year, when there were 1,454.

Malliotaki­s presented her reforms as part of a wider policy to bolster school discipline and safety in the wake of a stabbing by a Bronx high-school student last week that left one teen dead and another injured. There were no metal detectors at the school at the time.

With just 6 percent of schools protected by permanent metal detectors, Malliotaki­s said she’d work with the NYPD to identify more schools that need the devices.

“I think we need to have metal detectors at our schools that are troubled,” she said. City Hall defended its current policies. “With school metal detectors, you either trust the NYPD and their decisions or you don’t. The mayor trusts the NYPD,” said City Hall spokesman Eric Phillips. “When it comes to suspending kindergart­ners, your goal is either to kick 5-year-olds out of school or it’s not.”

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