NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York’s controversial public schools chancellor is calling it a seminal moment in history.

The city has announced it’s scaling back police involvement with incidents that are considered “low level offenses” in schools.

Talking through emotions instead of punishing students is now the focus in New York City school system. On Thursday, schools chancellor Richard Carranza announced the city is adding 85 new licensed social workers, limiting suspensions to 20 days, and has overhauled its agreement with the NYPD’s involvement in schools.

“Suspensions have gone down 31 percent and NYPD has seen a 29 percent decrease in major crimes in schools,” Carranza said.

Under the new agreement – which hasn’t changed since Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration – police in schools are asked to use “diversionary responses” and should not issue a summons or arrest for the following offenses:

  • Disorderly conduct
  • Spitting
  • Graffiti
  • Marijuana possession

NYPD assistant chief Ruben Beltran said the discipline for marijuana will now be ”warning cards.”

“The parent gets notified through the schools and it’s up to schools, especially in terms of marijuana, to provide some sort of support,” Chief Beltran said.

He added exceptions are made for large amounts, but then the New York City’s first lady took the mic when reporters asked for more details.

“Just want to say I’m very troubled to hear all these questions that are focusing on discipline,” Chirlane McCray strangely said at a news conference focusing on discipline.

Another change, school staff are limited from calling police for the following act:

  • Uniform violations
  • Cutting class
  • Lateness
  • Smoking
  • Lying
  • Gambling

WEB EXTRA – NYC officials announce scaled back agreement with NYPD in public schools: 

Now the question is how will school staff handle these issues.

“People have to be trained and take seriously the choices they make when refer students into the criminal justice system,” Prof. David Bloomfield said.

“For the first time, principals will have an opportunity to weigh in on performance of NYPD agents in their building,” education chair Mark Treyger added.

The union for school safety agents didn’t return CBS2’s request for comment. Nor did the principals association.

The cost for the new social workers is $11 million. That money will reportedly come from the first lady’s mental health initiative known as “Thrive.” At least $10 million is also being spent on social and emotional programs.

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