“Dozens of Rockland County yeshivas targeted for fire safety checks have agreed to open their doors to inspectors starting Wednesday, a position County Executive Ed Day said satisfies his desire to ensure the private schools are safe for students.
The agreement avoids a county-threatened court battle and follows days of emails and letters between County Attorney Thomas Humbach and Dennis Lynch, the attorney for the just-formed School Religious Freedom Coalition.
“They are acquiescing to our command,” Day said Monday. “It took awhile, and we appreciate the cooperation…. We didn’t back up. We got what we wanted without giving in. The inspections will get done.”
“Every school, regardless of religion, has an obligation to comply with the law,” Lynch said. “The county is obligated to play by the rules. If a school gets a fair chance to comply with the law and doesn’t, I will never represent them.”
“The law has always been clear,” said state Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City, who has been lobbying the state for several years to crack down on uninspected schools and illegal housing. “Private schools must be inspected for fire safety. Hopefully, today’s announcement brings us a step closer to ensuring the safety of Rockland students.”
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