We The People: School safety should be a priority

State test results show a steady improvement in math and reading for New York City students. The criticized Common Core curriculum — which includes demanding standards — seems to be working but we also need safe schools to allow students to learn.

The rights of troubled students, unfortunately, at times, trump the rights of regular students who want to learn. Mayor de Blasio should create safe schools and not just ones with lower statistics on crime.

A school should be a safe environment where young people can learn. This would require a fair and equitable process to direct antisocial and dangerous students into specialized programs away from schools where students want to learn.

Outstanding students are selected by test for specialized high schools but these accomplished students do well in their environments because they are allowed to learn. Average and above avenge students would do much better in safe environments where they are allowed to learn without disruption or danger. New York City schools need more safe environments where all students can learn.

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis touts her successes in a recent mailing. The Republican from Bay Terrace, Staten Island frequently criticizes wasteful government spending but could stop some if these mailings that cost New York State taxpayers $7 million a year ended.

The mailing neglected to include her Nay votes to reduce speed limits in New York City, to prohibit fracking, to add speed control cameras, to micro-stamp firearms or her failure to vote on A8070 The Women’s Equality bill for equal pay. We need more leadership on transportation, the environment and fairness for the regular voters who work, pay taxes and live in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

The Sharpton protest march over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge will now take place on Staten Island. The march and protest should never have become an issue. The real issue is how can we prevent deaths like that of Eric Garner, who the medical examiner said died from a fatal police chokehold?

Controversy hounds jump in whenever there is a newsworthy event. Representative Michael Grimm, running for reelection, despite his arrest and indictment, scheduled a press conference after Representative Hakeem Jeffries had one calling for a federal investigation into Mr. Garner’s death.

Grimm did not talk about the tragedy or the need for calm so an investigation can be conducted. He expressed disappointment that “my colleagues in Congress are casting a no-confidence vote … to undermine … District Attorney Donovan.”

Grimm is merely instigating partisan conflict to distract voters from his own personal problems: he is an indicted defendant, he threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony when angered by a question and he never resolved many campaign finance questions. So he takes the tragedy of Eric Garner’s death to polarize the citizens of Staten Island. He saw a win-win situation for himself and grabbed it.

The embattled congressmember never addressed the incident itself or his position on police and community relations. He associated himself with the popular Republican District Attorney Dan Donovan and appeared to react angrily against “outsiders” trying to run “his” island.

Grimm should have had a press conference about Mr. Garner and police procedures. Real leaders would have used the opportunity to foster communication and collegiality between government and the people but that would not be as helpful to a reelection campaign. Grimm will, no doubt, bombard his constituents with official mailings touting his press conference defense of the Staten Island D.A.

In Ferguson, Missouri, where the death of an unarmed young black man by a white police officer led to protests, police overreaction with pointed weapons and tear gas and a failure of leadership, led to increased disturbances. The state police toned down a heavy-handed local police response which helped ease tensions there considerably.

In New York City, thousands of people marched in solidarity with the Ferguson protesters. To the credit of the citizens who marched, it never got ugly. To the credit of the NYPD, the police were able to direct the crowd without major incident.

In New York City, thousands of citizens, including many young people, spontaneously protested in a peaceful and productive way. This is what our elected officials should be directing the people’s attention toward.

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