Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

New York - It's Time That NY Legislators Take Up Child Protection In The State Of New York

Published on: July 18, 2011 04:12 PM
By: VIN News By: Elliot Pasik, Esq.
Change text size Text Size  
Bookmark and Share
Elliot Pasik, a lawyer in private practice, is also president of Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, Inc.Elliot Pasik, a lawyer in private practice, is also president of Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, Inc.

New York - Do you remember the “broken windows” theory of criminology?  The theory was first posited by two social scientists in 1982 in the Atlantic Monthly magazine.  The theory goes that you deter serious crime and anti-social behavior in urban neighborhoods by repairing the broken windows.  You also remove the graffiti, and sidewalk litter.  You install bright lights.  You create an orderly environment, and crime goes down.  Respectable people don’t leave the neighborhood.

The theory was first utilized on a large scale in New York City under Mayor Giuliani in the 1990s.  Police also cracked down on such minor violations as subway fare evasion, public drinking, urination, and the “squeegee men” who stopped cars to wipe your windshield and demand payment. 

Advertisement:

The broken windows theory worked.  Rates of petty and serious crime dropped dramatically.

Notably, the killer of Leiby Kletzky, z”l, had a record for public urination in New York City in 2010.

We look around at our own situation, and what do we see?  The last taboo, murder, and a child no less, has just been broken, taking its place along all kinds of other anti-social, criminal behavior, including, child abuse, substance abuse, immorality, and serious financial crime.

We need to fix our broken windows.  But how?

We can start by bringing ourselves under the beneficial child protection laws that protect the majority of children in New York State, but not orthodox Jewish children.  New York probably has the weakest laws in the country for protecting religious and all nonpublic school children.

Twelve, mostly large states (representing 40% of our national population) require that nonpublic schools fingerprint and perform criminal history searches on their employees.  But not New York, where 450,000 children attend nonpublic schools, including 125,000 in Jewish schools.  Its almost hard to believe, but here in New York, registered sex offenders, murderers, and other dangerous convicted criminals may legally secure employment in a New York nonpublic school, without being detected.

Eighteen states impose mandated reporter status on every adult citizen, but not New York.  A mandated reporter is required to report evidence of child abuse or maltreatment to government child protection authorities.  New York’s mandated reporting law extends only to a limited class of mostly licensed professionals, people who sometimes have a vested interest in not reporting child abuse, and becoming entangled in thorny issues which they are not getting paid for.

Twenty-six states list clergy as mandated reporters of child abuse.  New York is not one of them, still apparently not getting the message so harshly delivered by the international clergy sex abuse scandal that has destroyed and even killed so many children.

New York State law is so backward on the subject of child abuse that nonpublic school children are even discriminated against, quite explicitly.

Our State Education Law requires all public school pupils to receive instruction designed to prevent the abduction of children – but not nonpublic school children.  How would such instruction, if given, have affected Leiby’s decision to accept a ride from a stranger?  We’ll never know.

Silent resignations of school employees who are charged with child abuse are prohibited, but this section of the law, again, explicitly applies to public school employees only, who are therefore barred from moving around from public school-to-public school.

Public schools only are required to establish and implement written school policies and plans to prevent and safeguard the life and health of children, and to prevent abuse.

And shocking as it may be, only public schools are required to maintain onsite defibrillators, not public schools. 

Is this madness?  Should we amend our laws to eliminate any requirement that nonpublic schools maintain fire extinguishers? 

Its been said that the murder of Leiby Kletzky, z”l, is our community’s September 11.  Emotions are running high now, and many proposals are on the table for eradicating, once and for all, the great evil of child abuse that is on our midst.

Whatever your religious philosophy may be, ranging from modern orthodox to Chassidic, attention should be paid to the May 2007 Resolution of the world’s largest group of rabbis, the Rabbinical Council of America.  The Resolution clearly states, “We support the application to the nonpublic schools of the health and safety laws currently applicable to public schools.” (rabbis.org)

Our organization, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children (www.jewishadvocates.blogspot.com ), which worked with the RCA in enacting that Resolution, has published a February 2009 Position Paper to the New York State Legislature that advocates for the overall strengthening of our child protection laws, particularly as applicable to nonpublic school children.

It is about time that we are joined in this effort by our entire Jewish community, and all citizens of good will.

The broken windows theory is really nothing new.  Pinchos, in the Torah, knew it a long time ago.  A public crime of immorality, even between two consenting adults, needs to be firmly addressed.  Otherwise, things will get worse – which they have.

By creating a strong legal environment where predators get the message that their deviant conduct will not be tolerated, we can bring a quick and sudden end to the abuse problem.

May G-d, in his abundant mercy, bless us with the strength and perseverance to achieve our goals.
_________________________________
Elliot Pasik, a lawyer in private practice, is also president of Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, Inc. 


More of today's headlines

New York, NY - New York City is hoping to ease midtown Manhattan traffic congestion with new technology. It will track the flow of vehicles and allow engineers to... New York - In response to last week’s gruesome murder in Borough Park, Chai Lifeline in conjunction with MASK  will be holding a series of symposia this week in...

 

Total17

Read Comments (17)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 18, 2011 at 04:30 PM MazelKGH Says:

The founding fathers of the USA wisely said that if we were all G-d fearing people there would be no need for man-made laws. Unfortunately at the very least many of us are simply misguided. I hope and pray that the recent incidents (nothing is "happenstance") will bring about the long overdue and needed changes in our communities. If fear works then the non-reporting of criminal activity (to the proper and trained authorities) should be punishable by no less than one year in jail.

2

 Jul 18, 2011 at 04:48 PM talking stam Says:

very well written.

3

 Jul 18, 2011 at 04:55 PM joseph Says:

Fact: Levi Aron would not have been stopped. Public urination is a misdemeanor much like running a stop sign. Fingerprings doesn't stop people being hired for minor offenses like those.

Please stop pushing your agenda on Leiby's blood and stop using Leiby to push your old ideas.

4

 Jul 18, 2011 at 04:57 PM charliehall Says:

Excellent suggestions! It is a shonda that our Jewish children have less protection from abusers than children in public schools.

5

 Jul 18, 2011 at 05:15 PM contrarian Says:

It is a great intellectual leap to postulate that "broken windows" type laws as applied to the child sex abuse arena, will deter psychcopaths from acting out their psychopathic behaviours whether it be murder or otherwise. On the other hand, laws mandating incarceration or involuntary confinement of mentally unstable people might have prevented the tragedy and might prevent tragedies in the future. The truth is the Broken Windows theory and Rudy Giuliani get more credit then they deserve for lowering crime. Crime went down everywhere during that period and the argument can be made that this was due to three factors 1. a prosperous economy 2. The incarceration of many drug dealers and the end of the crack epidemic. And 3. various demographic shifts including the deaths of many intervenous drug users from AIDS. I don't agree that this current tragedy has anything to do with the problem of pedophilia and how it is handled or mishandled by the community and I am not sure it is appropriate for various important agendas to ride the coat-tails of this tragedy.

6

 Jul 18, 2011 at 06:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Why does every politician now have to make Leiby A"H his publicity boy. Everyone is trying to jump on the bandwagon to get famous and have publicity. These people should be shunned. Allow the yingaleh to rest in peace.

7

 Jul 18, 2011 at 06:40 PM Sherree Says:

I agree that non-public school children need to be protected in every way that public school children are. But to just concentrate on this one issue is pushing aside every other serious issue that concerns the safety and protection of our kids and putting this very serious issue into a small box. There is so much more we need to concentrate on and this is just one part of it. It definitely needs to go on the list but it is not the top priority. Going to the police is on the top of the list, mandatory reporting, teaching your kids about good touch bad touch and never keeping secrets from Mommy is still a bigger priority. Teaching parents what they need to know, teaching kids what they need to know and setting up programs in school to teach the teachers what they need to know are all equally important.

Guidelines used in public schools need to be implemented immediately in non-public schools and consequences need to be made very clear. Even if there is no implication of sexual deviancy. If the rule of the school is no pat on the back then there has to be a consequence for the staff member for breaking the rule. Non-public schools need to be very serious about this.

8

 Jul 18, 2011 at 06:48 PM Sherree Says:

Furthermore, just as a child needs to know that they can tell Mommy anything. There has to be someone in each school that is designated to listen to a child's problems and issues. If something is going on in the home, a child needs to know that there is someone in the school they can go to and they will be safe if they talk to them. Its like having a "safe house" where a kid can turn. Mommy is the "safe house" or safe place at home, and this particular staff member in each school is the "safe house" or safety officer or whatever you choose to call the position. But if a child needs to share that secret and can't do it with a family member because it is happening in the home, then there has to be someone in the school they can go to.

Look at what was revealed just a few months ago with a Rabbi who had a school of his own that was not only molesting his own daughters but his sons were also molesting them. Where were the girls supposed to turn? What if they knew there was someone in their school that would help them when the abuse began? It is highly possible that the first one could have gotten help immediately and saved the others.

9

 Jul 18, 2011 at 06:50 PM Ina Says:

Reply to #3  
joseph Says:

Fact: Levi Aron would not have been stopped. Public urination is a misdemeanor much like running a stop sign. Fingerprings doesn't stop people being hired for minor offenses like those.

Please stop pushing your agenda on Leiby's blood and stop using Leiby to push your old ideas.

I believe this issue is very much connected to the tragedy that occurred last week. I wonder if you might have a different opinion were Leiby your close relative.

It is time that our rabbis be required by law to report pedophiles. I am quite sure that all rabbis who continue to protect the pedophiles in our midst will have a sudden and abrupt about face in how they handle this issue.

10

 Jul 18, 2011 at 08:56 PM esther Says:

Reply to #5  
contrarian Says:

It is a great intellectual leap to postulate that "broken windows" type laws as applied to the child sex abuse arena, will deter psychcopaths from acting out their psychopathic behaviours whether it be murder or otherwise. On the other hand, laws mandating incarceration or involuntary confinement of mentally unstable people might have prevented the tragedy and might prevent tragedies in the future. The truth is the Broken Windows theory and Rudy Giuliani get more credit then they deserve for lowering crime. Crime went down everywhere during that period and the argument can be made that this was due to three factors 1. a prosperous economy 2. The incarceration of many drug dealers and the end of the crack epidemic. And 3. various demographic shifts including the deaths of many intervenous drug users from AIDS. I don't agree that this current tragedy has anything to do with the problem of pedophilia and how it is handled or mishandled by the community and I am not sure it is appropriate for various important agendas to ride the coat-tails of this tragedy.

the problem is that unless the individual has commitd violence or he himself is acting violent it is illegal to hold people against there will beyond 72 hours.thank th ACLU for that supreme court decision.that is also why there are so many mentally ill homeless now.

11

 Jul 18, 2011 at 10:13 PM Contrarian Says:

Reply to #9  
Ina Says:

I believe this issue is very much connected to the tragedy that occurred last week. I wonder if you might have a different opinion were Leiby your close relative.

It is time that our rabbis be required by law to report pedophiles. I am quite sure that all rabbis who continue to protect the pedophiles in our midst will have a sudden and abrupt about face in how they handle this issue.

So far Mr Kelly has said there is no indication or evidence of molestation in this case. We do know from various media reports that Levi Aron had a history of psychiatric issues including a history of taking psychiatric medication according to a previous wife. There is also a report of a traumatic brain injury suffererd by Levi Aron as a child. Simply from reading the reports in the media, assuming they are accurate, one could surmise that Levi Aron is severly impaired in his mental capacity. To conclude that a case of a mentally deranged individual has anything to do with the pedophilia problem is simply ridiculous on the face of it. Personally, if i were a betting man I would wager that an MRI of Levi Arons brain would show significant abnormalities. I do not mean to minimize the severity of what he did but it seems to me that it is more in line with the actions of a wild animal and one who is Non Compis Mentis, then the actions of a human being endowed with free will and the ability to choose between right and wrong.

12

 Jul 18, 2011 at 11:36 PM UriLevi Says:

Reply to #3  
joseph Says:

Fact: Levi Aron would not have been stopped. Public urination is a misdemeanor much like running a stop sign. Fingerprings doesn't stop people being hired for minor offenses like those.

Please stop pushing your agenda on Leiby's blood and stop using Leiby to push your old ideas.

Joseph - spare us your "righteous indignation". Fact is - there is a pervasive permissiveness for child predators that is clearly prevalent in certain Chareidi enviroments - hiding behind "loshon hara and parnasa isues". There is also a lack of priorities in our communities with regard to "Derech Eretz Kadmah L'Torah". One has to be emotionally healthy and as balanced as possible before one engages in all the Chumros of our Chareidi world. Psychotherapy and talking out one's feelings are siimply not as important. Was Levi Aron encouraged by Rabanim to seek Pyschotherapy despite havinga very dysfunctional family. By all accounts he was always one of the 1st ten at minyan. Joseph - the Korban of Leiby was for us to wake up and unfortunately - you might be still asleep.

13

 Jul 19, 2011 at 01:15 AM sechelyoshor Says:

Reply to #3  
joseph Says:

Fact: Levi Aron would not have been stopped. Public urination is a misdemeanor much like running a stop sign. Fingerprings doesn't stop people being hired for minor offenses like those.

Please stop pushing your agenda on Leiby's blood and stop using Leiby to push your old ideas.

Are you afraid of getting caught? What could possibly be wrong with this "agenda"?

It will cost the schools a few extra dollars to run the fingerprint checks? Come on! People are prepared to spend money for a sefer Torah l'ilui nishmas Leiby after what happened but not prepared to protect the kids from possible predators they see every day? What is the matter with us???

It's time we checked every nook and cranny we can and do everything in our power to protect all the children!

14

 Jul 19, 2011 at 01:19 AM gershonseif@yahoo.com Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Why does every politician now have to make Leiby A"H his publicity boy. Everyone is trying to jump on the bandwagon to get famous and have publicity. These people should be shunned. Allow the yingaleh to rest in peace.

There is nothing wrong with this suggestion. It will hopefully identify some "mechanchim" who don't belong anywhere near a classroom and keep the children safer. What's the problem with that? Or perhaps you've got something to hide???

15

 Jul 19, 2011 at 01:32 AM Damnation without relief? Says:

According to Shulchan Oruch, Orach Chaim (3:17), one who refrains from relieving himself transgresses the prohibition of "Do not make yourself loathsome." Mishnah Brurah (31) adds: if he refrains from urinating he also transgresses the prohibition of not making yourself sterile.

Hence, according to halachah, when you gotta go—you gotta go. We can hardly blame Mr Aron's adherence to halachah for the murder.

16

 Jul 19, 2011 at 11:16 PM Reb Yid Says:

Reply to #15  
Damnation without relief? Says:

According to Shulchan Oruch, Orach Chaim (3:17), one who refrains from relieving himself transgresses the prohibition of "Do not make yourself loathsome." Mishnah Brurah (31) adds: if he refrains from urinating he also transgresses the prohibition of not making yourself sterile.

Hence, according to halachah, when you gotta go—you gotta go. We can hardly blame Mr Aron's adherence to halachah for the murder.

Of course his public urination didn't lead to the murder. But it shows us what kind of menuval he is. Even before, you know, the killing.

Does it say anywhere in the seforim you cite that it's ossur to use a bathroom? Because the gemora in brochos 55a says that when R. Yehuda berebi Ilai walked from his house to the beis medrash, he stopped at all 24 bathrooms along the way, to check if he had to use them. But it doesn't say that he carried out his bodily functions just standing there in the street.

17

 Jul 20, 2011 at 01:37 PM Damnation without relief Says:

Reply to #16  
Reb Yid Says:

Of course his public urination didn't lead to the murder. But it shows us what kind of menuval he is. Even before, you know, the killing.

Does it say anywhere in the seforim you cite that it's ossur to use a bathroom? Because the gemora in brochos 55a says that when R. Yehuda berebi Ilai walked from his house to the beis medrash, he stopped at all 24 bathrooms along the way, to check if he had to use them. But it doesn't say that he carried out his bodily functions just standing there in the street.

In that same Mishnah Brurah (31) it says that if one holds himself in until he finds a private place because of kovod haberiyos then he is not oiver on "Do not make yourself loathsome."

I think this means that if the person who needs to urinate is embarrassed to do so in public, then on account of kovod haberiyos (his own kovod) he may wait until he finds a private place. However, if he is not embarrassed, then this hetter doesn't apply, so he has an obligation to go right away.

18

Sign-in to post a comment

Scroll Up
Advertisements:

Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!