Lehman H.S. students defend security cops deemed to be too harsh

Bronx and city public schools under fire over harsh security tactics are getting support from an unlikely source ? the students who are reportedly being bullied by cops.

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a report Sunday that claims some school officers are too rough. The groups argue metal detectors, pat downs and bag searches are "criminalizing the classroom." The beefed up security is part of the city's Impact School Initiative, which aims to cut violence in problem-plagued schools.

Some Lehman High School students say while they don't enjoy the increased police presence, they understand the need to keep schools safe. Many students say Lehman is different from other schools with aggressive security.

The Department of Education defends its program, saying "During the past three years, we have restored safe teaching and learning environments to many of the city's most disorderly schools, and our strategy has become a national and international model." The NYPD claims the NYCLU and ACLU paid the 1,000 students the groups interviewed for their study to make false accusations.

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