FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2016
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications
Office of the County Executive (845) 638-5645
Yeshivas Agree to County Fire Inspections
NEW CITY, N.Y. – Rockland County Executive Ed Day announced this afternoon that yeshivas in Ramapo and Spring Valley have agreed to be inspected by county fire inspectors.
“We received word through their attorney that these schools that initially refused to be inspected have acquiesced to our demands,” Day said.
Inspections will begin again at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Inspectors were not allowed to conduct inspections in any of the 13 schools that they visited today (Monday).
Lawyers for Rockland County were prepared to go to court to get warrants to enter the premises when the attorney representing an organization called the School Religious Freedom Coalition said the group had changed its mind.
“The real winners here are the children who will now be going to schools that are safe,” Day said.
The county will follow up on the results of the inspections to make sure that any violations are corrected.
“This victory shows that the rule of law will be applied to all in Rockland,” Day said. “No one is above the law.”
The county was empowered by the state Department of Education to conduct inspections at 49 schools, mostly yeshivas in Ramapo and Spring Valley, that either never filed required paperwork showing they had inspections or schools that were inspected by a Ramapo employee whose work was shown to be inaccurate.
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia provided Rockland with the list of schools and deputized the county to perform the inspections.
A team of current and former fire chiefs certified by the state to perform inspections will be doing the work.
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