WAITING FOR TRAGEDY – CHILDREN COULD DIE…
It may be difficult to conceptualize the state of the Yeshivas throughout Ramapo and Rockland County. They are being inspected along with other schools, but appear to have the most egregious violations. Many do not have fire-alarms, fire extinguishers and sprinkling systems are unheard of. Many have classrooms littered with trash, and garbage bins littered with everything from food leftovers to papers. In many of the buildings’ rooms there are open electrical fixtures with exposed wiring, simple fixes but also tragedies waiting to happen.
In some of the yeshivas and day-schools the bathrooms are unfit for NYC rats, no less children. Others have doorways blockaded or padlocked, potential escape routes unavailable to students in the event of a fire. There are no lit exit signs in some, dirty food-service areas in others and the list of violations goes on.
In some cases, the violations don’t necessarily mean that these buildings are going to be shuttered for good, only that the they need to be rectified, made safe, made secure and cleaned then reinspected in the future.
One would think that anyone using the words of G-d as his or her source material for daily life would want to see children educated in safe and clean environments, would want not to be putting the lives of the children at risk.
The issue of the obstacles placed to inspection is couched as anti-Semitism, an argument that inspectors are singling out Jewish organizations over others. That may be true. Some of the same buildings requiring inspection were not properly inspected in the first place and are not registered as Yeshivas. Is this a Jewish issue? In our view it has become one by virtue of circumstance. In general the parochial schools being inspected are not creating obstacles to inspection and most have valid CofO’s. Do ultra-Orthodox Jews have a habit of neglecting to acquire a CofO and proper permit? Well… yes. Again by circumstance, they do. Should they be provided an exemption by virtue of a specific covenant with G-d. Nope. Children’s lives are at risk and that needs to change.
We propose that if it were anti-Semitism in its purest form guiding the decisions to demand inspections, the anti-Semites in question would not be making significant effort to keep these children safe, they would be hoping for tragedy instead. This is about safety.
For the true anti-Semite, the bodies of Jewish children in body bags may be appealing. For those responsible for inspecting the Yeshivas in question, such a result is unacceptable. This is not anti-Semitism at work.
Perhaps it is time for the Yeshiva Machers to insist upon inspections rather than create encumbrances to them. The word of G-d demands it.
The Law Be Damned – State Ordered Fire Safety Inspections Of Private Schools Are Being Met By Resistance.
Inspectors have been denied entry to several locations. The claim is that the inspectors are not interested in safety but are carrying out a political agenda having ulterior motives associated with County Executive Day.
Day insists that the law will be equally applied to all with special treatment to none.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the ghettoization of Ramapo has now become confrontational to both State and County authority.