City Hall – Today, Councilman David G. Greenfield, 20 New York City Council Members, and Public Advocate Letitia James held a school safety rally alongside students from Beth Jacob of Boro Park, Barkai Yeshiva, Al-Madinah School, Razi School, Al-lhsan, St. Saviour Catholic Academy, Queen of Rosary Catholic Academy, and Queen of All Saints. In addition, representatives of the following organizations were present: United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York, Agudath Israel of America, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, Islamic Schools Association, Archdiocese of New York, Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, Sephardic Community Foundation, Catholic Community Relations Council, and Jewish Community Relations Council.
The rally for school safety featured Councilman Greenfield’s legislation, Introduction 65, guaranteeing non-public schools a NYPD school safety agent at the school’s request. The bill would only cost $50 million for protection of 230,000 kids whose private schooling saves the city $5 billion annually. For more information about the bill – and how to support it – visit www.schoolsafety.nyc
“We’re here for a very simple reason: we want to make sure that every single student of New York City that goes to school, whether they go to public school or religious school, is safe. That’s why we’re here. And this is a very simple initiative. The reality is in the last year in New York City hate crimes against religious people are up 20 percent. That’s a scary statistic. School violence across the country is up. We want to make sure every child, regardless of where they go to school, is protected,” said Councilman Greenfield.
Introduction 65 has received overwhelming support from both the community and a super majority of the Council: as of today, 46 of 51 members have signed onto Greenfield’s bill. The bill has received additional support from Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the Catholic Community Relations Council, the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, the Archdiocese of New York, the Muslim Community Network, the Islamic Schools Association of New York and the NYS Association of Independent Schools.
Greenfield’s legislation would require the NYPD to assign a school safety agent to any school, public or private, that requests one. Although school safety agents are unarmed, they are trained by and work for the NYPD in full uniform and are equipped with police radios that give them a direct link to the NYPD.
“I wholeheartedly support Intro 65 because I believe that protecting our children must be our first priority as a society. The 250,000 students who currently attend schools without access to school safety agents are in unnecessary danger. We need to unite to ensure that this unacceptable status quo is challenged, and the necessary resources are allocated to protect these children,” said Councilman Fernando Cabrera
“All parents who send their children to school whether private or public have an expectation that their children will be safe. Public safety is a city responsibility. This legislation helps to ensure that every effort is made for children to be safe while in their classroom,” said Councilman Maisel.
“The Orthodox Union applauds Council Member David Greenfield for his leadership on this crucial issue. We owe it to all our children to ensure that they are safe at school, regardless of the school they attend. This bill is simply a matter of fairness and we call upon the entire City Council to pass Intro 65 as quickly as possible. The OU will continue to work with our allies in the Council to see this legislation approved,” said Jake Adler, Director of Policy at the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Advocacy Center.
“The city must ensure that every child – whether they go to a public or nonpublic school – has a safe learning environment,” said Council Member Rory I. Lancman. “It’s vital that we provide all schools with an NYPD school safety officer before a tragedy occurs.”
“With passage, Intro 65 will safeguard all of New York’s students, regardless of the school they attend and help ensure the safety and security of all students and their teachers. UJA-Federation of New York is proud to support this important legislation, “said Elana Broitman, Senior Vice President for Agency Relations of UJA-Federation
“There are thousands of children attending Islamic Schools in New York City and they deserve to be in a safe school environment. ISA supports Intro65 because safety of our children is of utmost importance regardless of them attending public or private schools,” Rafeek Mohamed, President of the Islamic Schools Association of New York
“The City has an obligation to keep all of our kids safe, and it doesn’t matter where they go to school,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick. “We already support private and parochial schools with public dollars in a number of ways, and nothing is more fundamental than safety.”
“Every child, no matter what school they attend, should have a safe and secure learning environment. Providing all schools with the option to request a school safety agent will help ensure students feel protected and are able to thrive in the classroom,” said Councilman Ritchie Torres.
“Safety officers play a critical role at New York City schools,” said United States Congresswoman. Grace Meng, Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Kids Safety Caucus. “They serve as a deterrent to potential crime and ensure quicker response times to emergencies. Students at public schools benefit immensely from the protection that these officers provide, and non-public school students deserve access to this critical safety link as well. The City cannot risk leaving these schools unprotected. As a mother of two young children, I recognize the importance of creating a safe environment for all students in New York City schools. I call for the passage of this bill, and I applaud Councilman Greenfield and other sponsors of this legislation for working to keep all of our kids safe.”
“Our city has an obligation to keep every one of our children safe, regardless of what kind of school they attend. The frightening rise in religiously motivated attacks in New York City and around the world has made sectarian schools more vulnerable than ever, and this bill would provide students at such institutions a measure of much-needed protection,” Said Council Member Mark Levine.
“All of New York City’s school children deserve protection. School safety agents are in public schools; they must be placed in nonpublic schools as well. Intro 65 has overwhelming support in the City Council and to ensure the safety of all of New York City’s school children, we urge its immediate passage,” said Joseph Rosenberg, Director of Catholic Community Relations Council.
“Every child deserves to be safe, regardless of where they go to school,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Any school should be able to request a safety agent to protect students. I am proud to support Council Member Greenfield in his efforts to keep our children safe.”
“It’s our responsibility to keep all school children safe, whether they attend a public school or a private school, they all deserve the chance to learn in a safe environment. We live in uncertain times, with school violence on the rise nationwide, this measure will give parents and students peace of mind that they are safe at school,” said Councilman Vincent Gentile.
“Government has an indisputable responsibility to protect children from physical harm. In today’s violent and uncertain times, it is an imperative that we protect children in their school, irrespective of the status of the school,” said Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz.
The rally took place prior to this week’s Stated meeting. Last month the bill was heard at the City Council’s Public Safety Committee. It is awaiting a vote. To learn more information about the bill and help pass it, visit www.schoolsafety.nyc.
(YWN Desk – NYC)