Today marks the five-year anniversary of Avonte’s Law being passed in New York City. The legislation, which imposes new measures to make schools safer for special needs students, was introduced in response to the Avonte Oquendo tragedy, in which a 14-year-old autistic boy drowned after leaving school undetected. David Perecman, Founder and Lead Trial Lawyer of The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., and Avonte’s mother recently spoke with News 12 Brooklyn about why the passing legislation in Avonte’s memory was essential to help keep other special needs students safe and prevent similar tragedies from occurring.
Avonte’s story has had a significant impact on New York City communities and nationwide. In 2017, President Donald Trump signed Kevin and Avonte’s Law (H.R. 4221/S. 2070), a federal initiative to provide resources to assist in planning, establishing or operating programs to prevent wandering and to locate missing individuals with forms of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease, or developmental disabilities such as autism.
Avonte’s story also lives on through The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C.’s initiatives. In remembrance of Avonte, The Perecman Firm provides an annual scholarship to students with autism or those with a close family member with autism.
Avonte’s mother and David Perecman recently shared Avonte’s story and the power of his legacy on News 12 Brooklyn: