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Sunday, June 18, 2006

New York Readers: Legislation to Help Protect Your Children
NonPublic School Employee Background Check Bill
Assembly bill number A. 11399, and Senate bill number S. 07381

I received this message from Mr. Elliot Pasik and am reprinting it for my New York readers. Please act immediately to support this important legislation and please pass this mesage onto your friends in New York now.

Here is the first message from Mr. Elliot Pasik:

Please pardon the long hiatus, but I have a good reason. Together with some friends, I've been working on getting a new law in New York State that will allow all nonpublic schools to fingerprint their employees, and run FBI national criminal background checks. In this manner, our schools can avoid hiring convicted sex offenders and other dangerous criminals who should not be working near children. (42 out of 50 states, including NY, require their public schools to fingerprint their employees; about 10 states require their nonpublic schools to fingerprint.)

Such a bill has been written, and officially introduced to the State Assembly and Senate. The bill is supported by Agudath Israel, the Orthodox Union, and the Rabbinical Council of America. Most recently, the New York Jewish Week reported on the bill, see, Friedlin, "State Mulls Background Check for Yeshivas", The Jewish Week, June 9, 2006 (JewishWeek.com). I strongly suggest that you read this article, in which I am quoted.

Your support for the bill would be very, very helpful. As parents, responsible for the physical safety and health of our children, we should have the most to say about this issue. Can you please, therefore, go to the separate websites of the New York State Assembly and Senate, and click onto the webpages for the following key legislators:

1. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver;
2. Assembly Education Committee Chair Catherine Sullivan;
3. Assembly member Harvey Weisenberg (bill sponsor);
4. Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean Skelos (original bill sponsor);
5. Senate Education Committee Chair Steven Saland.

The next few days are absolutely critical, because the legislative session ends next Thursday, June 22, 2006. If the bill fails, we have to wait a year. Currently, under New York law, it is illegal for nonpublic schools (and many other employers) to fingerprint their employees. We may well currently have convicted sex offenders and other dangerous criminals working in our schools, but we don't know about it.

Here is the second message from Mr. Elliot Pasik:

I forgot something. In your emails to the legislators, you should refer to Assembly bill number A. 11399, and Senate bill number S. 07381. You should also refer to it as the nonpublic school employee background check bill.

Here is the third message from Mr. Elliot Pasik:

To assist us, my friend Arthur Gober reports the following about important email addresses:
Silver: speaker@assembly.state.ny.us
Weisenberg: weisenh@assembly.state.ny.us

For Senators Skelos and Saland, go to www.senate.state.ny.us, and click on "senators". You will there find email forms to fill out.

What should you write? How about the following: I am joining with other yeshiva parents in asking you to support the nonpublic school criminal background check bill, A. 11399 and S.07381. We do not want convicted sex offenders and other dangerous convicted criminals working in close proximity to our children.This will take you a few seconds to do. Relatively speaking, there aren't many of us who are "in on this", so your emails are both important, and a good way of expressing our community's hakaros hatov.

2 comments:

gross said...

Here is a helpful web site that will enable all to quickly find their representative politicians' pertinent information:

http://www.vote-smart.org/index.htm

Neil Harris said...

Thanks for the posting. It's about the "Agudath Israel, the Orthodox Union, and the Rabbinical Council of America" agree on something. Hopefully we will have a better tomorrow for our children.