Oct. 6, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
A “March for Safety” will take place at Hunters Point South Park this weekend, to promote autism awareness, and to pay tribute to Avonte Oquendo on the second anniversary of his disappearance from the Riverview School.
The march will take place Oct. 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and kicks off in the park.
Oquendo, a 14-year-old autistic student, disappeared from school through an open side door on Oct. 4, 2013. When administrators became aware, he was already 18 minutes gone.
After an exhaustive, three-month search, his remains were found near Powells Cove in College Point.
The tragedy inspired Avonte’s Law in New York City, which required the Department of Education to evaluate the need for door alarms at city schools.
The DOE will install 21,000 door alarms in more than 1,200 schools by the end of 2015, officials announced in June.
According to a blog post from the Perecman Firm (of attorney David Perecman, who represents Oquendo’s family) Saturday’s march aims to “let officials know how necessary Avonte’s Law is.”
“We need to keep the pressure on the city so they equip these schools and finish the job of improving the system,” Perecman is quoted in the post.
Sen. Charles Schumer has introduced a federal Avonte’s Law, which would create a voluntary tracking program for children with autism and others prone to wandering from caregivers.
Reach reporter Jackie Strawbridge at [email protected]