School Protests and Security Incidents Increase in New Jersey

The NJDOE Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning provided information from  the New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center regarding a protest that was planned on school grounds at a Mercer County public school. The information indicated that the group ACLU’s People Power advised the district of the intent to protest. The district informed the group that the protest would not be permitted on school grounds.  

Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Requiring NJ Public Schools to Develop Threat Assessment Teams

August 2, 2022 Client Alert On August 1, 2022, Governor Murphy signed legislation (A4075/3229) requiring NJ Public Schools, including Charter Schools and Renaissance Schools, to develop and adopt policies for the establishment of threat assessment teams in their schools. According to the new law “the purpose of a threat assessment team shall be to provide school teachers, administrators, and other …

School Safety and Security Legislation Update

At the conclusion of the 2021-22 New Jersey Legislative Session, two pieces of legislation with direct connections to school safety and security were passed. In the aftermath of recent acts of school violence nationally and highly publicized hazing incidents in New Jersey, these new laws will impact the way school staff and students practice emergency responses and enhance reporting, investigation, compliance, and consequences for harassment, intimidation, and bullying incidents in schools. 

Using Lessons Learned To Prevent School Violence

December 6, 2021 – For decades, school leaders, law enforcement officials, parents, students, and communities that have experienced tragic incidents of targeted violence in schools have provided insights, after-action reports, and “lessons learned” from their experiences. Government agencies, non-profit organizations, task forces, and researchers have convened to identify commonalities among these violent acts to develop best practices to prevent, respond to, and recover from violence in schools. After decades of research and advocacy for safer schools, acts of violence continue to go unmitigated despite an abundance of guidance on the subject.

Start with Respect to Make Schools Safer

October 4, 2021 – Violence in schools exists in many forms- from bullying and physical altercations between students to the threat of targeted violence from internal and external actors. While violence prevention is a year-round obligation for schools, the month of October provides several opportunities for school communities and their partners to address school violence head-on as the school year gets into full swing. 

Back to School Safety Compliance-NJ School Safety and Security Requirements

September 2, 2021 – While COVID-19 has consumed our conversations and resources over the past year, and variants of COVID-19 and rising levels of infection continue to require schools to adapt for in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year, planning for masks, vaccines, disinfecting, and other disease mitigation strategies,  preparation for the upcoming school year must also include the traditional back-to-school planning of years past. Safety and security considerations should top the list to ensure a safe return for students and staff.

The School Year is Over- What’s Next?

The 2020-21 school year has been extremely challenging. Pandemic related planning, remote and hybrid schedules, and periodic closures have left administrators, teachers, staff, students, and parents exhausted and in need of a well-deserved respite. As plans for proms, award ceremonies, graduations, and other yearend activities are finalized, it appears the school year is officially winding down.

Violence in the Workplace: Prevent, Prepare, Respond, and Recover

A spate of widely publicized shootings in recent weeks has renewed the conversation around these incidents and the need to focus on ways to prevent acts of violence. While some of these incidents occurred at public venues with little or no apparent connection between the location and the assailant, other circumstances place incidents in the category of workplace violence.

April is the Cruelest Month

As we begin to see signs of spring, we must keep in mind that the month of April marks the anniversaries of a number of historic acts of violence that have shaped the way our nation has come to view school security and safety.