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BP Adams: NYC should pay for safety agents at all schools

‘A crazed gunman doesn’t care how big a school is’

May 23, 2018 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Seventh-grader Giovanni Santana, a student at Bedford-Stuyvesant’s New Beginnings Charter School, said his school should get funds for security guards, too. Behind Giovanni is Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (left) and Councilmember Robert Cornegy Jr. Eagle photo by Mary Frost
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While most schools in New York City receive taxpayer dollars to hire safety agents, some still do not. On Tuesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said that has got to change.

The schools excluded from receiving safety funds are religious schools with fewer than 300 students, and charter schools housed in private space. These schools serve more than 75,000 students.

“We need all of our children to be safe at school. A crazed gunman doesn’t care how big a school is before they attack,” Adams told reporters and school representatives gathered for a rally in Borough Hall.  

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Adams wants the City Council to revise a bill it is considering which extends security protection to all non-public schools, but would still exclude charter schools in private space. If passed as is, these schools will be the only schools in New York City that are not eligible to be reimbursed for the cost of security guard services.

“I want to fix the legislation to make schools safer whether it has two people or 300,” Adams said. “These sick minds of people with guns don’t say, ‘We’re not going here because there’s only 300 kids.’”

Seventh-grader Giovanni Santana, a student at Bedford-Stuyvesant’s New Beginnings Charter School, made the case for his school, which has 670 students and is housed in private space.

“Think about what’s happening across our nation. Imagine another Texas shooting,” he said. “We are asking that charter schools receive the same funding as public and private schools.”

Nicholas Tishuk, executive director of Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School, said the school spends $100,000 a year for two safety agents.

“That’s money that could go toward textbooks, teachers and field trips. That’s money every other school gets that we don’t have access to,” Tishuk told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Adams was joined by Councilmembers Robert Cornegy Jr. (Bedford-Stuyvesant) and Antonio Reynoso (Bushwick), and Debbie Almontaser, board president of the Muslim Community Network, among others.

“From January, there have been 19 school shootings across the U.S. How many more have to happen to take it seriously?” Almontaser asked.

“What are we talking about here? Equal funding for the safety of all New York City kids,” said NYC Charter School Center CEO James Merriman. “This should be done this afternoon.”

 


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