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GNPS Message to the Community, Jan. 30

January 30, 2024

Dear GNPS Community,

I hope this letter finds you healthy and well.  As you may recall, in a correspondence dated January 22, 2024 (last Monday), I informed you about an incident involving an individual employed by our contracted security firm, Arrow Security, who had been arrested and was facing criminal charges. The individual in question had been assigned to JFK Elementary without any incident of any kind, since the start of this school year. However, I must emphasize that he has not been present at JFK or any district facility since his arrest, and he will not be permitted to return to school grounds for any reason moving forward. 

Yesterday, during a press conference held by the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, we, along with members of the media and the public, learned about the severity of the charges. We share your concern regarding the gravity of these charges and extend our gratitude to law enforcement for their swift action in addressing this matter to ensure the safety of all.

It is worth noting that this individual met all New York State requirements to hold an unarmed security guard license at the time of his arrest, including a required criminal background check and fingerprinting. We have conducted a careful review of all mandated protocols with our contracted service provider, Arrow Security, to ensure no steps were overlooked during the hiring process. Additionally, Arrow Security confirmed that this individual also underwent and passed a full background check by an independent investigations firm, as well as drug testing prior to his placement within GNPS.

GNPS will continue working with Arrow Security to review vetting protocols and insist upon a rigorous background check procedure beyond what is required by New York State for any individual that is to be placed in any of our school buildings. Additionally, we will advocate for the New York State licensing department to reevaluate the background check requirements for any individual applying to serve as a security guard in a school setting. Lastly, we will continue to strive to fill security positions with retired law enforcement officers whenever possible as indicated in the January 22 correspondence.

As previously stated, the safety, health and welfare of all students, faculty, and staff are of paramount importance. We take this matter very seriously and will maintain close collaboration and cooperation with law enforcement officials at all times.

Thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate through this challenging circumstance.

 

Warm Regards,

Kenneth Bossert, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools