Photo courtesy of Councilman Lancman's Office
Rory Lancman gathered with school administrators to call for an increase in school safety agents in non-public schools.

BY ANGELA MATUA

Private schools deserve better protection, Councilman Rory Lancman, school administrators and students said during a Monday press conference in Fresh Meadows.

Lancman was joined by representatives from Yeshiva Ketana, Al-Mamoor School and St. Nicholas of Tolentine to rally for a bill that would provide NYPD safety officers to these and other non-public schools.

The bill is supported by 46 of 51 council members, according to a press release.

“We live in a dangerous world where terrorists will not hesitate to target even innocent schoolchildren,” Lancman said. “The city must provide all schools with safety officers. Non-public school students deserve the same safe learning environment that their public school peers enjoy.”

The bill was introduced by Councilman David Greenfield and would require the city to provide full funding for the NYPD to provide public, private, religious and secular schools with safety agents, if they request them.

According to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), there are more than 5,200 school safety agents protecting New York City schools, making the School Safety Division one of the largest police forces in the country.

“It would be a tremendous benefit to the safety and well-being of our students to have an NYPD Safety Agent in our school,” Rabbi Binyomin, the Menahel of Yeshiva Ketana of Queens said.

School safety agents are unarmed but they are trained by the NYPD and are equipped with police radios to directly communicate with other NYPD officers.

“The administration, faculty and families of Al-Mamoor School strongly support this bill, which will provide our students with the protection they deserve,” Ismael Khalil, the president of Al-Mamoor School said. “We urge the City Council to pass this important legislation that will keep our students safe.”

Negotiations are being made for the city budget, and the deadline to finalize it is Tuesday, June 30. If funding for the budget is not approved, the City Council can take steps to pass the stand-alone bill.

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