Teachers Talk: School Culture, Safety and Human Rights

In 2008, Teachers Unite and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative released the Teachers Talk: School Culture, Safety and Human Rights report. The report surveyed over 300 New York City public school teachers and found that they concluded that punitive approaches toward children, such as aggressive policing, suspensions and other reactive strategies, actually undermine the human right to education by failing to address the causes of conflict and criminalizing students. And while teachers recognize that suspensions and other removals can be necessary for serious and limited circumstances, they feel strongly that these strategies fail to provide learning opportunities and are used excessively and unfairly to the detriment of students. The report also provides a list of action steps that the Mayor and the NYC Department of Education should take to improve school climate.