Fight brewing over Westchester County school's decision to hold classes without permits

RYE BROOK, New York (WABC) -- There is an ongoing fight over whether an elementary school in Westchester County put its students at risk by allowing them into the building this week despite not having inspection permits for a construction project.

The state education commissioner said the decision to hold classes at the Bruno M. Ponterio Ridge Street School in Rye Brook shows a disregard for safety.

They initially had to shut the school down after being informed that their certificate of occupancy was pulled Wednesday night because some fire safety equipment in a new, unoccupied wing of the building wasn't inspected.

The commissioner sent the school board a harshly worded letter on Friday saying their "intentional decision to occupy a school building lacking a CO represents a brazen, and perhaps criminal, disregard for the safety of others. It would certainly support the removal of school officers for a willful violation of law or neglect of duty under Education."

The school board says it's outraged by the state's allegations and that students were never in any danger.

It's not clear if students will be allowed back in to the building in time for classes on Monday.

The inspection is ongoing and officials don't know how many classrooms will be released back to them by then.

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