What is the Project SAVE Law and How Does it Apply to New Rochelle Schools

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George patakiIn his State of the State address on January 6, 1999, Governor George Pataki announced the creation of a Task Force on School Violence.

Three months later, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered a total of 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School. They injured 24 others before taking their own lives.

On July 24, 2000, Governor George E. Pataki signed into law the most comprehensive legislative plan in the nation, entitled Project SAVE (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education), to promote a safer and more effective learning environment within New York State's schools.

The law went into effect on November 1, 2000.

After the Project SAVE Law went in effect, the New Rochelle Board of Education directed the creation of a District-wide Safety Team to develop the District-wide School Safety Plan and Building-level teams to develop the Building-level Emergency Response Plans. Plans for each school and the district as whole were completed in the summer of 2001 and adopted by the board.

On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by al Qaeda. On that day, 2,996 people died including over 100 Westchester residents, hundreds of first responders and the daughter of a Barnard School teacher.

The push for rapid implementation of the SAVE Project Law’s evacuation plan requirements grew exponentially following the attacks on 9/11.

It is important to note that the District-wide Safety Team is not the same as the District-wide Safety Committee. The Committee deals with day-to-day safety issues like a rusty nail on a slide on a playground or a broken step at the entrance to a school. The Team deals with the Safety Plan mandated under the Project SAVE law.

Committee is Day to Day; Team is SAVE Law Safety Plans.

Make a note as this will be important to understanding what has been going on in New Rochelle lately.

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