I met yesterday with the Department of Education to protest a proposed Truancy Processing Center for Ocean Ave and Ave M. I was joined by Councilman Michael Nelson, his Chief of Operations Chaim Deutsch, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, a member of Councilman David Greenfield’s staff, and a representative of Shaare Torah, as well as Deputy Chancellor of the DOE, Kathleen Grimm.
Our concern: Truants brought to the center would be released into the neighborhood after processing.
Clearly, the DOE should have consulted with elected officials and the community before planning this center for our neighborhood and in such close proximity to a girl's yeshiva (to say nothing of the many other schools in the neighborhood).
In a press release following the meeting, Councilman Nelson stated, “Now that we had the opportunity to sit down and talk about the issues, I am confident a resolution will be achieved to keep our neighborhoods safe and to keep truants from causing havoc on our streets. We will continue to work closely with the Department of Education until a viable solution for our communities is reached.”
Let me add that I am cautiously optimistic that a resolution will be reached. But the safety of our community should be everyone's primary concern.