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Elected Officials Express Opposition To New ‘Truancy Processing Center’ In Heart of Flatbush

Flatbush, NY –  Council Member Michael C. Nelson expresses his strong opposition to the proposal to establish as of September 19th a Truancy Processing Center at 1780 Ocean Avenue, located in the Avenue M business district just two doors away from Yeshiva Shaare Torah (1768 Ocean Avenue), an all girls’ high school. In addition, Councilman Nelson is particularly outraged by the fact that the Department of Education did not reach out to the community, or inform anyone of this plan, until after the fact. If the proposal had been disclosed at its inception, the community would have had an opportunity to show that this is absolutely the wrong place for a Truancy Processing Center and a suitable location could have been secured

Councilman Nelson’s opposition to a Truancy Processing Center at this location is based on the risk to the community resulting from the likelihood that a large number of young people who have already displayed significant anti-social behavior by remaining out of school for no good reason will be released unsupervised into the community. A truant will first be taken by a school safety officer to the student’s school ONLY if the school is nearby. If the school is not nearby, the officer will bring the student to the Truancy Processing Center. The student’s parent will be called and asked to pick up the student by 2PM. Most parents will generally be at work or otherwise unavailable to pick up students by this time. If the parent does not pick up the child by 2PM the student will be RELEASED from the Truancy Processing Center posing a significant risk to businesses, residents and other students in the area.

The Councilman stated, “I have deep concern about the impact on the community of unacceptable behavior of truant students. Everyone will be negatively affected – residents, businesses and particularly the safety of other students in the community.  I understand the anxiety and concern of many parents about the location of the Truancy Center. A lot of hard work which has gone into creating a safe and protective environment for the many school children in the area will be jeopardized by the proposed location in Midwood of a Truancy Processing Center near Yeshiva Shaare Torah. I will continue working with other community leaders in order to resolve this issue, and guarantee the safety of the children of our community.”

Joining Councilman Michael Nelson in expressing opposition to the Truancy Processing Center is Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and Councilman David Greenfield.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind said, “News of this Truancy Center made parents fearful and for good reason. We need to make sure that our community remains informed and protected. Towards that end we hope to resolve this issue at our upcoming meeting.”

Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs said, “The safety of children in our community must be put first. I have heard the cries of neighborhood parents about the proposed location for the Truancy Processing Center, and I will join my colleagues in fighting this proposal before our youth are put at risk. ”

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein stated, “It is outrageous that the DOE established this Truancy Center without reaching out to elected officials, the community or the neighboring girl’s school. We don’t know the number of truants that will be brought to the facility or how many will be released to roam the streets of Midwood unsupervised at the end of the school day. I am committed to ensuring the safety of the Shaare Torah students as well as our entire community.”

Councilman David G. Greenfield stated, “This shortsighted decision is unfair to residents, schools and businesses in the area. Residents have enough to worry about without an influx of troublemakers in their neighborhood. Even worse, the DOE made this major decision without any notice to the community. I stand alongside my colleagues and neighbors as we fight back against this example of bureaucratic decision making by the DOE.”


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