By: David Ben Hooren
In a sign of the lamentable times in which we live, a Crown Heights yeshiva for girls has become the first in New York City to install metal security doors.
The goal: protection from the kind of active shooter nightmares and antisemitic acts that have become all too common.
The Bnos Menachem school will eventually be fitted with 90 such doors. The work is being done by an Israeli company called Remo Security Doors. It has already installed nearly 50 security doors in Harrington Park, N.J., public schools, and still more in an estimated 50 Jewish schools and synagogues in Brooklyn.
“The 150-pound classroom doors, made of galvanized steel, are fortified inside by metal bars, the company says. The doors can be locked from the inside with a thumb turn, and no electricity is required. Each has a bullet-resistant window,” reported the New York Post. “Company president Omer Barnes said a bullet may penetrate the door, but a shooter could not get in.”
Aside from the actual safety that the doors will provide, it is the absence of stress and anxiety that the school’s administrators are trying to achieve.
The cost of the project, according to the Post’s reporting will be $225,000. A $150,000 Homeland Security grant from the state will help defray the cost.
“I think it’s great,” one mother told the Post. “It’s a very secure feeling to know that there’s a security measure and that they’re really thinking about the safety of the children.”
In June, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC) will be embedded in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. The opening was months ahead of the November effective date established by the City Council law that originally created the office.
The new office will coordinate responses to hate crimes across City agencies, including the NYPD, City Commission on Human Rights, Department of Education, Department of Probation, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and District Attorney’s Offices, taking a holistic approach to preventing hate crimes, developing and coordinating community-driven prevention strategies to address biases fueling crimes, and fostering reconciliation and healing for victims.
The Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will also support NYPD training, launch support programs for victims, improve coordination on hate crime reporting and work with affected groups to make sure victims come forward.
“In New York City, we celebrate and uphold our differences and reject any attempt to hate or divide,” said de Blasio. “The Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will work to root out hate and make our streets safer, which is why we’re moving up the timeline and opening the office months ahead of schedule. We will never stand idly by while our fellow New Yorkers are targeted because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or any other quality that makes them who they are.”
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