August 15, 2014
New York, NY — Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed legislation in relation to door alarms on public school buildings. The legislation was introduced in response to the Avonte Oquendo tragedy, in which a 14-year-old autistic boy left school undetected.
Introductory 131-A, also known as ‘Avonte’s Law,’ requires the Department of Education to evaluate the need for door alarms on exterior doors at elementary schools and District 75 schools serving students with special needs. By May 30, 2015, DOE must have completed the evaluation of all schools and must submit a report to the Council describing the results of the evaluation, including a list of the schools where door alarms have been deemed appropriate and the timeline for installation. By May 30, 2015 and annually thereafter, DOE must also submit a report regarding training on student safety protocols for DOE personnel. The bill was approved by the City Council at the stated meeting on July 24.
“Every parent in this city felt the urgency and fear as we searched week after week for Avonte. Every one of us felt the pain of his loss. And every one of us is committed to making sure our schools have the tools they need to keep our children safe. This legislation will protect other children from tragedy,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.