City Council hearings on proposed Avonte's Law - New York News

City Council hearings on proposed Avonte's Law

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Dozens chanted outside City Hall and pleaded with City Council members inside on Thursday to pass a law requiring alarms on exit doors of elementary and special education public schools.

Many call it Avonte's Law for Avonte Oquendo, the 14-year-old autistic boy who in October ran out of his Queens school. He was not discovered missing for another hour. His body was discovered three months later. Avonte's grandmother testified before the City Council during the hearing on Bill 131.

But the Department of Education does not support Avonte's Law, arguing that some autistic children could be upset by loud alarms and there is no one single solution for the problem of wandering school kids.

Councilman Robert Cornegy and the bill's other main sponsor, Daniel Dromm, a former a school teacher, have 47 of 51 council members supporting their bill. The teacher's union, while repeating the Education Department's one-size-does-not-fit-all stance, supports Avonte's law, hoping for alarms, surveillance cameras, and more training of school personnel and families.

Advocates for Avonte's law say they hope the full City Council will vote on this bill by the summer.

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