New York - Hikind: It's High Time That Mandatory Fingerprinting Should Be NY Law For Yeshivas
New York - A number of child-safety proposals have been floated in the wake of the murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky in Brooklyn’s Boro Park neighborhood.
One proposal might stand out to New York State residents as a commonsense initiative: mandatory background checks and fingerprinting for private school employees.
The checks would not have prevented the murder of Kletzky. Accused killer Levi Aron, also a Jew from Boro Park, abducted the boy off the street in July as the child walked home from a neighborhood summer camp. But advocates contend that such regulation would codify one lesson of the murder: that Orthodox communities can no longer place blind trust in their own.
“The point that we bring to the table is that we Jews can’t do it ourselves,” said Elliot Pasik, president of the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children. “We can’t self-govern. We can’t police ourselves. We need laws for child safety.” Pasik’s most recent call (reported first on VIN News) for legislation, — which he sent to six New York State senators and Assembly members.
NY Assemblyman Hikind, said it is high time that the mandatory fingerprint law, which he plans to sponsor again next year, is passed. The Kletzky murder, he suspects, might even propel the community of Boro Park and the broader Hasidic leadership to back him this time.
“I think now, with everything that has gone on, there is greater recognition that more has to be done,” Hikind said. “It’s about priming. It should have been done years ago. A lot of things should have been done years ago.”
Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of the Orthodox umbrella organization Agudath Israel of America, for his part, said that Agudath Israel is going to take a wait-and-see approach. “I am pretty sure we will not oppose it and we will discuss internally as to whether we will affirmatively encourage it,” he said.
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