New York - Orthodox Organization To NY Lawamkers: Our Yeshivas Need Child Protection Laws
New York - The Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, a nonprofit group which, for several years, has been calling for strong child protection laws that would govern yeshivas and all nonpublic schools, has sent a letter to leading New York state legislators urging them to address the grave problem of child abuse.
The letter, delivered Friday, July 22, 2011, calls attention to the heinous abduction and homicide of Leiby Kletzky, and states that it is “healthy and productive” for all New Yorkers, in the wake of this tragedy, to join together so that we can create the “safest environment possible for all children.”
JBAC President Elliot Pasik, an attorney, cites about one dozen child protection laws which protect public school children, but not children who attend religious and private schools. He calls for the explicit extension of these laws to the nonpublic schools.
* only public school children are required to receive instruction designed to prevent abduction;
* only public school administrators are required to complete coursework in identifying and reporting child abuse or maltreatment;
* only public schools are required to establish and implement written policies necessary to safeguard the life and health of children, and to prevent abuse;
* only public school employees are required to report public school-based child abuse to government child protection authorities;
* only public schools are required to fingerprint and obtain criminal histories of their employees.
The letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and the chairs of the Education Committee and the Committee on Children in both legislative houses.
In May 2007, the Rabbinical Council of America, working with JBAC, enacted a Resolution endorsing the extension of all public school child protection laws to the nonpublic schools. The RCA is an organization of about 1,000 orthodox rabbis.
The full text of the letter can be read here. PDF
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