MONSEY, NEW YORK — There was a clash Wednesday over school security, or what appears to be a complete lack of it in some Tri-State Area schools.
Parents in Rockland County demonstrated their frustration by going on patrol themselves, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.
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You can approach the school along a paved path from a neighboring subdivision. On Wednesday, classes were in session and you could see the children through the windows only a few feet away.
While out front visitors were buzzed in by a single secretary guarding the front door. CBS 2’s Young found side entrances unattended and unlocked.
Grandview Elementary School in Monsey was an open book.
“I’m not surprised at all,” district resident Tony Luciano said.
Luciano, a retired police lieutenant, shot video of the lapse security on Tuesday as frustrated school parents mounted their own security patrol to keep people off school property while classes are in session.
What they encountered underlines the deep animosities here between elements of the Orthodox Jewish community and parents who send their children to perennially underfunded public schools. Holiday worshippers took offense at being asked to not cut through the school yard.
“I’ll tell you there’s more of us then you right?” one worshipper was captured saying on Luciano’s video. “And our feeling is you are anti-Semitic.”
The video continued with parents telling another Orthodox Jew he was trespassing, to which he answered, “This is public property.” The parent then reminded him that’s not the case when school is in session.
Parents said they just want the schools secured.
“I want signs posted on the school property and I want no trespassing laws enforced,” Luciano said.
“Our fear is that a child will be abducted or that a child will be hurt. We wanted to make the point that the school district is not doing its part to secure the safety of our schools for our children and we had to step in because they refuse to do so,” parent Peggy Hatton said.
No one from the East Ramapo School District was willing to speak about the security situation on Wednesday. The parents said they intend to press the matter at the next school board meeting.
The East Ramapo district draws students in from Monsey, Chestnut Ridge, Spring Valley, Suffern and New City.