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A group of parents rallied on the steps of city hall, saying that the Department of Education is to blame for the growing violence in city schools.

The parents are also claiming that their kids are being bullied by student and teachers alike, and they are demanding that the city release the names of teachers with a history of violence.

Seven-year-old Cameron Suarez, his mother, Kristina Martell, and father, Adam Suarez, along with parent activist Shamona Kirkland discussed bullying cases across the city and the DOE’s response.

The Department of Education spokesperson, Devora Kaye, provided statements: 

On Couey: “Students and families need to trust that they are safe in their school buildings, and nothing is worse than when that trust is violated. We will work to fire this teacher, and we’ll do a thorough review of his deeply upsetting pattern of behavior.”

Over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, as PS 194 has become a Community School, it has received new mental health and counseling services, dental and vision screenings for students, a food pantry, and extended day arts and literacy programs.

On FES event: “Having great teachers in every classroom is a top priority, and we have procedures and tools in place to remove teachers who don’t create safe and supportive environments for students and families. We’ll continue to use these procedures to thoroughly investigate and address complaints, and ensure students are safe and secure in New York City classrooms.”

If requested, the DOE will provide personnel records showing work history, investigative reports and disciplinary records, but may withhold records or portions of records per the state FOIL law. Parents may also call their school’s parent coordinator or principal to discuss concerns about any school policies or employees, and may report allegations of misconduct to OSI or the Special Commissioner of Investigation.

Mayor’s office spokesperson, Wiley Norvell, also provided a statement regarding student safety: 

“We put the safety of our students above all else. Every student deserves a great teacher and a supportive school environment, and we won’t hesitate to remove anyone who doesn’t put the safety and interests of students first.”