News Updates

September 26, 1990 3 min read

New York City transit officials have expanded a pilot program under which police officers patrol subway cars designated for students traveling home from school.

“Operation Safe Passage” was introduced last spring on the city’s D subway line near five high schools in Brooklyn: Abraham Lincoln, Edward R. Murrow, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, and William E. Grady.

Students from seven additional high schools will have access to the designated cars, Transit Police officials announced this month. The schools are Norman Thomas and Julia Richman in Manhattan; Hillcrest and Archbishop Molloy in Queens; and DeWitt Clinton, Walton, and Cardinal Hayes in Brooklyn.

Under the program, a transit police officer boards the second-to-last car of a train at school dismissal time and accompanies the students to the nearest major transfer point.

There have been no major incidents during the six weeks the program was piloted last spring or since the beginning of the new school year, a transit police spokesman said last week.

The program began after a group of principals approached the Transit Authority to discuss their growing concern with the number of crimes committed against students riding the subways. (See Education Week, April 4, 1990.)

Anchorage district officials have dropped the lawsuit they filed against the city’s police department after a search of school offices last year.

School and city officials reached an agreement Sept. 4 stipulating that each side would pay its own legal expenses and that the lawsuit against the police department would be dropped.

School officials sued after the police searched district offices last fall as part of an investigation of a teacher-student sex scandal. The police were searching for evidence that school officials had covered up evidence of a relationship between the teacher and a 17-year-old student. (See Education Week, Oct. 25, 1989.)

The district charged in its suit that police broke state and federal laws protecting the confidentiality of student and personnel records. All but one of the charges in the suit were dismissed last summer. The teacher was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, but a judge later ruled that no crime was committed because the student was older than 16, the age of consent in Alaska.

A pastoral statement urging that Connecticut’s schools be desegregated was read on Sept. 23 from church pulpits throughout the state.

The statement was prepared by the Christian Conference of Connecticut, the state’s council of churches, in response to a pending desegregation lawsuit. (See Education Week, May 30, 1990.)

“The lack of integration in our public schools threatens the vision of a harmonious, fair, and pluralistic society,” the statement said. “We confess that the church itself has fallen far short of its own teachings, and that the church, as a reflection of society, is often a patently segregated institution.”

The statement noted that 60 percent of Connecticut students who are members of minority groups attend schools in the state’s five largest cities, while “neighborhood schools immediately contiguous to inner cities often have less than 5 percent minority enrollments.”

Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago has submitted to the City Council the final eight nominees for the city’s permanent board of education. The council is to vote on the nominees next month.

Under a process established by the 1988 state legislation that made sweeping changes in the Chicago school system, the Mayor was to pick nominees from 15 slates of three candidates submitted by a nominating panel.

The Mayor chose seven candidates in May but rejected the other slates presented, sparking a protest outside his office. (See Education Week, May 23, 1990.) The council has confirmed his first seven choices.

The Mayor’s new nominees, chosen from new slates submitted by the panel, are: Ashish K. Sen, 48, a professor of urban planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Pamela A. Lenane, 45, a lawyer in private practice; Saundra J. Bishop, 49, a former administrator in the Chicago Department of Aging and Disability; Grady Bailey, 32, manager of marketing relations for Illinois Bell Telephone Company; Bertha G. Magana, 34, a lawyer and citywide education coordinator for the United Neighborhood Organization of Chicago; Anna Mustafa, 41, a youth coordinator and community representative for the Chicago Area Project; Juan S. Cruz, 65, a retired Chicago educator; and Darryl F. James, 36, rector of the Messiah-St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church.

A version of this article appeared in the September 26, 1990 edition of Education Week as News Updates