NYC, Teacher Unions Focus on School Violence

In an effort to make schools safer, New York City officials and unions for teachers and principals are banding together to develop strategies to address school violence, the New York Times reported Dec. 16.
Among the approaches being discussed are quicker decision-making on suspensions, faster removal of dangerous students from schools, increasing the number of alternative sites for students removed from schools, arming school safety officers with batons or pepper spray, and lobbying for state legislation to ease the transfer of students.
"The United Federation of Teachers (U.F.T.) and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (C.S.A.), the Department of Education, the Police Department, the mayor's office are all going to put our shoulders together, our heads together and we are going to make sure we take the actions necessary so that our schools are safe," said Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein.
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg acknowledged that the city's slow response to addressing school violence has hindered the disciplinary process.
The agreement to work together comes after months of feuding between the Bloomberg administration and the unions regarding educators' roles in the mayor's overhaul of the school system.