Police Patrols in Public Schools is Focus of Constitution Day Lecture

September 6, 2011 – Johanna Miller, assistant advocacy director and public policy counsel of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), will give a lecture at Dutchess Community College on Sept. 16 titled “Criminalizing the Classroom.” The presentation, held to mark Constitution Day, will be held at noon in the James and Betty Hall Theatre. It is free and open to the public.

Miller will discuss the police presence in New York City public schools in relation to the number of guidance counselors. Approximately 5,200 officers patrol the schools, which amounts to the fifth largest police force in the U.S., while just 3,000 guidance counselors are on staff. That ratio, Miller suggests, illustrates the priorities of the public school system and has created a crisis in education that has led to large numbers of drop-outs.

Some of Miller’s accomplishments include helping to lead the NYCLU’s racial justice and students’ rights campaigns, and serving as primary author of the 2011 report “Education Interrupted: The Growing Use of Suspensions in New York City’s Public Schools.” She currently is co-litigating a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of safety policies and practices in the New York City public school system.

Miller is a graduate of the University of Florida and New York Law School, where she received the Alexander Forger Award for Distinguished Service to the Legal Profession. She joined the NYCLU in 2008.

Constitution Day/Citizenship Day celebrates the September 17, 1787 ratification of the Constitution. It was observed as Citizenship Day from 1952 until 2004, when a law was passed changing the name.

For more information, contact DCC Economics Professor Seemi Ahmad at (845) 431-8517 .