Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Police Commissioner James O’Neill attended a Team Up! Tuesday event at The Hunts Point Middle School in the Bronx today with officers from the 41st precinct and School Safety officers assigned to the school. They visited classrooms, participated in a restorative circle, and cheered on students and officers playing in a basketball game.
Above - Chancellor Farina asks the opinion of students of the new Team Up Tuesday program.
Below - The Chancellor gets the opinion of one of the students. Both students and police officers liked the idea of getting to know one another better.
“Building strong community relationships from an early age is essential to ensuring that New Yorkers across the City are aware of the many supports available to them,” Mayor Bill de Blasio has said. “Team Up! Tuesday is an important opportunity for middle school students to connect with officers from their local precincts and strengthen relationships through engaging activities.”
“Through Team Up Tuesday!, schools and precincts are coming together to make meaningful connections and build community,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with the NYPD to support our students and officers as they collaborate and build relationships of mutual respect and support, and I look forward to bringing it to more schools next years.”
“Team Up! Tuesday is one of many ways the Police Department and Department of Education work together and it is another opportunity to build meaningful relationships between students, teachers, and officers,” said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “My cops are excited to continue building new relationships with students at middle schools in every borough.”
These events introduce students to officers in their local precinct and provide an opportunity to hear directly from them about their personal experiences and will help build rapport. The expansion of Team Up! Tuesday also includes a new parent engagement component – schools are inviting families to participate in activities so the entire community is involved. As part of the ongoing effort to promote partnership between the school community and police, the DOE is encouraging schools to continue to build upon these new connections throughout the school year.
Above - The Chancellor and police commissioner participated in the Restorative Circle where one at a time when given the Kouch Ball spoke about what they felt. Today the group used preprinted index cards with topics on them.
Below - It is the turn of one of the students to speak her mind on the subject on her card.
Above - It was Police Commissioner James O'Neill's turn to speak, as he holds up his card with his topic on it.
Below - Later, there was a press conference where the chancellor and police commissioner answered a few questions from reporters. I was able to say that as a former middle school Parent's Association President that there was a similar program years ago in middle schools which was discontinued. When I asked Commissioner O'Neill why the program was disbanded, he just spoke about the new program now in effect.