South Queens, NY – New York State Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-South Queens) reached out to the principals of the schools throughout the community, along with the Chancellor of the NYC Board of Education, and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Education to remind them of a law that she passed in 2019 with regard to commemorating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Pheffer Amato succeeded in passing legislation with Senator Joseph Addabbo that would require all public schools throughout the State of New York to observe a moment of silence and discuss the event of 9/11. Since the signing of the bill by former Governor Andrew Cuomo, it has not been implemented due to remote learning from COVID-19 or 9/11 falling on a weekend.
"The terrorist attack had, and still has, a deep impact on our State's history and was felt by many residents in my district, and across our great State. There are so many of us who suffered personal loss because of the attacks on the World Trade Center, along with the impact it left. As no student currently in K-12 was alive during the attack, it is imperative that our public education system take the time to educate students on both the loss and heroism experienced on September 11th. By mandating a brief moment of silent reflection every year on September 11th, we ensure that future generations will better understand this day and its place in our history," said Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato.
The unique law passed both chambers with people praising Pheffer Amato for her commitment to ensuring that all school children would forever understand and learn how to honor the victims of 9/11, while also commemorating the survivors and heroes. The bill A.1801 (2019) amends the New York State Education law to make a special provision for the observance of a “brief period of silence” each September 11th at the start of the school day in schools state-wide. According to the language in the bill, this would provide students with the “opportunity for silent prayer or for silent reflection” on the anniversary day.
Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato, who is known as one of the most successful legislators for 9/11 victims and first responders, was also responsible for ensuring the longevity of the September 11th Workers Protection Task Force (A.10249, 2020) as the task force created the pension benefits for first responders who participated in the rescue, recovery, and cleanup of Ground Zero. In addition, Pheffer Amato was the sponsor and led the legislation that ensured that public employees involved in the rescue and cleanup of the World Trade Center would have unlimited line of duty sick leave for any 9/11 related illnesses (A.7819, 2019).