New “Avonte’s Law” to aid special-needs students

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 NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed legislation aimed at making schools safer for students with special needs.

The new law requires that the Department of Education evaluate the need for alarms on all exterior doors at elementary schools and those serving students with special needs.

If it is deemed that a child can open a door, an alarm must be installed.

The law has been dubbed "Avonte's law." It is named after Avonte Oquendo, a 14-year-old autistic Queens boy who used an unalarmed door at his school and disappeared.

His disappearance in October set off a massive search. His body was found in January.

The city medical examiner ruled that the boy's cause of death could not be determined.


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