No cops in schools, paid parent volunteers and more: Advocates push for ‘healing’ NYC education

Local News

MANHATTAN — A group of parents, students and education advocates are calling for drastic change as kids return to classrooms across New York City this fall.

After the trauma of the pandemic, remote learn and a reckoning with racial justice. The plan calls for “healing-centered education.”

Their recommendations for the coming school year include things like removing all police officers from schools, paying parent volunteers and a number of things to make schools more welcoming and inclusive. 

Members of the Healing Centered Schools Task Force argue these actions were necessary before the pandemic, but the last 16 months has only show how important these changes would be.

“I’ve been very shocked about what was happening this whole year,” said Mei-Li McClanahane.

The Bronx student said after a year where her world was flipped upside down by remote learning, the recent wave of anti-Asian hate is what’s really shaken her.

It is part of the reason her mom, Amy Tsai, who has five children of different ages and abilities, joined the task force.

“Knowing that students were not getting what they needed was really important, and there is trauma, not just during this pandemic, but before the pandemic that were generational and systematic,” Tsai said.

After months of meetings, they came to City Hall to rally around specific changes they want from the Mayor and department of education.  

The report was just delivered to the mayor’s office and is being reviewed. Mayor de Blasio and the DOE have talked in broad terms about implementing some of this in the coming school year, specifically more culturally appropriate material, as well as additional mental health resources in schools.

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