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NYC Schools Reported Over 9,600 Students to Child Protective Services Since Aug. 2020

Paullette Healy can tick off the ways her family’s life has been plunged into uncertainty and fear over the last three months: Her younger child’s repeated nightmares and increased anxiety, the hours she’s poured into collecting forms from her kids’ doctor and psychiatrist to prove she’s a fit parent and an arduous and probably costly legal process that still looms to clear her name.

From early November through Jan. 1, the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn family was under investigation by the Administration for Children’s Services, or ACS, the New York City agency tasked with looking into suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. Healy had been reported for educational neglect for not sending her children to school amid COVID fears, even though she says her kids kept up with their work remotely. 

The report that spurred their investigation was one of more than 2,400 that New York City school personnel made to the New York Statewide Central Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment during the first three months of the 2021-22 school year, according to data obtained by The 74 through a public record request — about 45 percent more than were reported over the same time span a year prior when most of the city’s nearly 1 million students were learning remotely. From August 2020 to November 2021, records show NYC school staff made a total of 9,674 reports. 

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