Rabbis press Bill de Blasio for NYPD safety agents at religious schools

From NY Daily News.

Jewish leaders are pressuring Mayor de Blasio to provide NYPD school safety agents at religious schools, with a letter signed by 24 city rabbis sent to Hizzoner on Monday.

The rabbis urged de Blasio to support Intro 65, a school-safety bill in City Council that would allow religious schools to request safety agents for their campuses.

“We believe that all children, regardless of where they attend school or what faith they follow, must be safe at school,” wrote the rabbis, who represent more than 15,000 congregants.

Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov of Queens said he signed the letter because he worries that anti-Semitism could boil over into violence directed against a city yeshiva.

“We live in a crazy world where even our children are not safe,” said Nisanov. “If you want to attack with the greatest damage, a religious school would be a target.”

About 250,000 kids attend more than 800 nonpublic schools across the city, including more than 110,000 kids who attend Jewish yeshivas, Orthodox Union officials said.

Those private schools must hire their own staffers to provide security for students and school buildings — but elected officials and religious leaders want that to change.

Intro 65 would compel the city to provide NYPD school-safety agents to private schools that want them, giving those schools the same security that public schools currently employ.

The bill’s sponsor, David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn), wants de Blasio to fund the NYPD safety agents in the budget he is finishing in June.

“These schools need safety agents like any other school,” said Greenfield. “Every child deserves to be safe.”

The bill’s supporters kicked off a $100,000 ad campaign in religious publications on June 10 pushing de Blasio to support the change, which so far he has refused to do.

De Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell said the NYPD works to protect city children every day, regardless of which school they attend.

“We constantly seek out new ways to deepen that protection, and will gladly continue our dialogue with members of every community on how we can achieve that,” Norvell said.