New York Post
Malliotakis: Bring back suspensions
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.”