Mayor de Blasio announces safest year on record for New York City public schools

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There is some little relief for many New York City parents as they get closer to another school year, after city leaders said Tuesday that this past year was the safest on record.

But it's not all good news, especially for two schools that officials say are still very dangerous.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina addressed the issue of student safety, announcing that the 2016-17 school year was the safest on record in the history of New York City.
The announcement was made at MS 88 in Park Slope, a school de Blasio said exemplifies what a safe, supportive learning environment should be.

"If kids are comfortable, they feel safe, they're going to be able to be their best selves," he said. "They're going to be able to learn."

According to DOE and NYPD, there was a 5 percent reduction in the number of major assaults over the year before; an 8 percent decrease in school-related arrests; and an 11 percent decline in summonses.

"We're very proud of what we've done," Farina said.

Both the mayor and the chancellor acknowledged that despite the system-wide improvements when it comes to safety, two schools -- IS 49 Bertha A. Dreyfus School in the Stapleton section of Staten Island and P.S. 183 Dr. Richard R. Green School in the Rockaways -- are still designated "persistently dangerous." But both parents and neighborhood activists say they've seen improvements there too.

"Community wise, IS 49 has improved," said Peter Lisi, of Staten Island Community Watch. "Six years ago, community and business owners were affected by the crime at IS 49."

The mayor added that the situation in schools parallels the crime reduction seen on city streets, and he credits much of that to the efforts of the NYPD.

"It's a lot safer," parent Michelle Howell said. "You know, as far as what I see. And I've been in this community about 20-plus years."
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