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City Council Holds Hearing on Avonte's Law

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The City Council held a hearing Wednesday on Avonte's Law as it prepares to vote on the bill Thursday.

The legislation is named for Avonte Oquendo -- a special needs student who went missing from his Long Island City school last October and was later found dead.

The bill requests that the Department of Education consult with schools and the police to place door alarms at its discretion.

It requires all schools to evaluate the need for these alarms.

"It gives reinforcement to the principals to say, 'Listen, this is what I need,' and I don't think the Department of Ed. would be able to turn them down," said Brooklyn Councilman Alan Maisel.

"So where the need is most, and where principals and schools want it, that's where we want to see the alarms installed first," said Queens Councilman Daniel Dromm.

The bill's sponsors originally planned to require all elementary schools and special education facilities to install the alarms, but this proposal was met by opposition from the Department of Education and Teachers Union.

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