NYC School Safety Agents' Lawsuit: Newtown Is Happening Every Day

School safety agents lawsuitAfter the Newtown, Conn., massacre, some have called for more school safety agents inside schools. But a group of 5,000 school safety agents in New York City have filed an explosive $35 million class action suit, alleging that they're paid less than other safety agents in the city, despite being exposed to gang violence, prostitution and drugs.

"It's like Newtown is happening every day in the schools, but in slow motion," said James Linsey, the attorney for the agents.

The lawsuit, initially filed three years ago (Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd pictured above signing the suit), alleges that the mostly female agents who staff public schools have been paid significantly less than their mostly male counterparts who work in hospitals, homeless shelters, and laboratories. According to Linsey, the school agents' salary caps at $35,000, while other city safety agents have salaries up to $42,000. The union brought up the disparity during contract negotiations in 2008, and threatened to sue if it wasn't remedied.

"The city's response was, 'So sue us,'" says Linsey. "So we did."

Over the last six months, the city has taken the testimonies of 135 school safety agents, who have recounted the darker horrors ravaging the city's schools, including gangs smuggling weapons into them and middle school girls selling sex for $1.

The New York Daily News read through excerpts of the transcripts, and reported some highlights:

• At DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, agents keep a locker stuffed with confiscated weapons in the dean's office, school safety agent Deserie Wilson testified. A butcher knife, homemade slings and an improvised bat are among the weapons Wilson and her fellow unarmed agents collected from students.

• At Junior High School 190 in Queens, the gangs were so powerful that one female student was compelled to have sex with 17 boys, sometimes at school, and become a gang member, safety agent Rosemary Scott testified. Safety agents and school staffers were unable to stop the humiliating process that left the girl under the control of the Bloods, a gang that terrorized the school, Scott said.
• Girls from Intermediate School 172 in Harlem sold oral sex for a dollar -- and a classmate was their pimp, school safety agent Shakima Jones-Washington testified in October.

The school district wouldn't comment on specific allegations, but said crime in schools is actually down.

School safety agents are unarmed trained employees of the New York City Police Department, and tasked with ensuring "the safety of students, as well as faculty and visitors" in the city's public schools.

Given their role as children's first line of defense, Linsey said their pay grade was particularly worrying. He claims Eleyna Konstan, a senior official at the Department of Education, quotes the turnover rate as 50 percent.

"The case, it really highlights the twin evils of 2013, and that's safety, school safety, and the second is unequal pay, for women doing the same job as men," explains Linsey. "Here you have a lawsuit that centers on both of them."


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keithsy

Those SSA's are the worst thugs and ho's from the same **** families with same **** children. They are wannabe cops, but even they are not good enough for that rotten NYPD. SSA's were ****-ups and rejects from special-ed. They were truants and miscreants. This is as far in life they will be. My alma mater got the first set 40 years ago-addicts, prostitutes, and criminals with rap sheets. I am Union man for the working man, but they deserve nothing. In fact, they earn too much. Return discipline to the schools and SSA's will go away.

April 19 2014 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jayden Eden

Wow. I think I need to get my eyes checked. http://www.munstereyecare.com/ Did I seriously just read that? How can they not stop a gang from overruling a school? We have technology and so many possibilities to do something about it. That's sad to hear about the abuse and violence.

January 21 2014 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
arenadood

If you have a Gang controlling a school and can not do anything about it then you close the school and assign the students to other schools in the area to break them up. Or they could put up metal detectors, make the students wear uniforms and have multiple armed guards on campus at all school hours.

March 06 2013 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jay love

only in NYC, why would a school safety officer, or as we call them here in Florida, a school rescource officer, not be allowed to carry a weapon/side arm? I am not sure what their training is there, but in FL. schools have actual police/law enforcement persons who staff schools. not only is this to protect the children, but they are in close proximity to a policeman on a daily basis who helps these kids and teaches them to respect law enforcement and that the law is on their side? of course in nutty NYC their thinking probably is no guns should be allowed on school property, even by the people doing the protecting, as they are bad, bad, bad and evil tools??

March 06 2013 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

School Safety personnel not only deal with the students on school grounds, they also patrol the ares around the school often having to break up fights away from the campus. I've responded to many incidents off school property to find School Safety attempting to contain a violent incident or dispurse large crowds of swarming and fighting teens.
NYC has a long history of disregarding the workers they consider easy to replace or non-essential. EMS personnel are paid substantially less than other public safety personnel despite the hazards of their profession which very often include being 1st on scene of criminal acts and other public safety incidents. Mayor Koch, while attending an EMS Academy graduation, congratulated the new graduates as they took their "first steps to higher career paths as Police Officers and Firefighters" and then referred to EMS professinals as "ambulance drivers". It took the near stabbing of an EMT, who ran into a park and stopped a rapist in mid-attack, for then Mayor Guilliani to admit our jobs are dangerous and issue body armor to those EMT's and Paramedics who wanted it. Even now, years after being merged with the FDNY, the city still has no respect for it's EMS professionals, so I am not suprised when I hear another underling agency complain about salary and lack of appreciation by NYC and the Mayor's Office.

March 06 2013 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bertnernie229

So they ban just about any gun ever made in that screwed up state but still they leave the children in the schools as sitting ducks for the gang members to murder. Funny how they put a very low price on the lives of the children. You know what NY you get what you voted in. This is the fault of every person who lives in that state. You want to fix it? Get rid of the liberal trash you put in office.
As for the unions! Anyone who would like to work in the schools to protect the children for what these people do you can always step up to the plate and do it. Otherwise shut the f up and pay them what they should have been paid all along. Liberal bastards always want something for nothing.

March 06 2013 at 3:28 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
mociambz

cant buy a big gulp in ny but you can get shot in school why unions are on strike... Just another example of why liberals cant run a city

March 05 2013 at 9:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mociambz

and you wonder wny people hate unions.

March 05 2013 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
robertmb56

SHOW ME THE MONEY !!!!

March 05 2013 at 9:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Denney

Me thinks animals behave better than some of the savages that attend inner city schools....So happy they look and feel like prisons so the inmates can adapt to their future in the real penal system....Life is choices and most of these kids with parents or parent that just don't care are doomed.

March 05 2013 at 7:33 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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