Education

District Considering Implementing Class Three Special Law Enforcement Officers, New Program to Deal With Bullying

dc659f5089b29994df46_DSC01341.JPG
dc659f5089b29994df46_DSC01341.JPG

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - With new state regulations allowing it, the district is working with the Bridgwater Township Police Department on the potential for bringing in retired officers to serve as Class Three school resource officers.

According to Superintendent of Schools Russell Lazovick, he is meeting with police Chief Al Nicaretta to flesh out the job description for these officers.

“We want them trained and in our buildings, but more importantly, the majority of the time should be interacting with the students,” Lazovick said. “What we’re looking for is people interacting with the students and building positive relationships with police officers.”

Sign Up for E-News

Lazovick said the officers are hired by the police department, but are paid for by the school district.

“They would be working hourly because they are retired,” he said. “And if someone is not performing to standards, we will work with the police department and could make a change.”

According to the New Jersey School Boards Association, the option is being made available as of June 1 by state law that creates a type of law enforcement personnel that is trained specifically to provide security in and around schools. They are called Class Three Special Law Enforcement Officers, and they are hired only to provide security at schools when they are in session.

These officers are retired so they can be hired at lower costs, but will operate under the authority of the local police department and have full police powers.

In addition to this measure, as school safety issues have continued to be addressed over the past few years, board of education member Lynne Hurley said she was at a meeting to hear a presentation from parents on Starts With Hello, a program that was started in 2012 in the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook.

In the wake of the school shooting tragedy in Parkland, Florida, Bridgewater-Raritan parents Niki Dawson and Adrienne Sorensen launched the Facebook group, “Not in Our Town – Bridgewater-Raritan,” to make a difference in school safety and focus on how isolation, mental health and bullying may factor into these incidents. Parents in the group have brought the Starts With Hello program to the administration, in an effort to have it implemented in all Bridgewater-Raritan schools in September.

The campaign, developed by Sandy Hook Promise, helps students identify signs of social isolation in children and gives ideas on how to reach out to those students.

Start with Hello is a program that can be delivered in classes, assemblies or through student ambassadors. It includes a wide range of activities and events to ensure sustainability and integration into the school culture.

According to the program’s website, the program teaches students in grades two through 12 the skills they will need to reach out and include those who may be dealing with social isolation, while creating a culture of inclusion and connectedness within the school.

Hurley said she would like to look at data to see the effectiveness of the program where it has been implemented.

But, she said, what is most intriguing about the program, is that it can be implemented in all the schools, thereby creating a uniform message across the district.

“Considering we have seven primary schools, it creates a common language, and the kids, as they are moving up, are hearing the same messages,” she said. “Plus I like the idea of teaching kids to be nice.”

Lazovick said the district doesn’t currently have a unified approach for all the schools.

“This is one of many options, and we are trying to get as much information as we can,” he said. “It will eventually go to the health and wellness action team, and we are looking to put things in place and a plan for September.”

“This will be a big undertaking, whatever program we do,” he added.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Bridgewater/Raritan

Upcoming Events

Sun, July 22, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sun, July 22, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster,

2018 Members’ Non-Juried Exhibition & Sale

Arts & Entertainment

Somerville Woman Arrested for Shoplifting from Macy's, According to Bridgewater Police Report

July 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Somerville woman was arrested for allegedly shoplifting more than $400 worth of merchandise from Macy's at the Bridgewater Commons Mall July 7, according to a report from Bridgewater Township Police.

Sara Morales-Silva, 51, was charged with shoplifting after she was found with about $435.04 worth of merchandise from the store.

She was processed and released pending a ...

The Somerset Patriots And 9-1-1 On FOX Are Looking For Hero First Responders

July 21, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots and 9-1-1 On FOX are asking for Hero First Responder nominations from the community.

Nominate a first responder to be recognized on the field during the pre-game ceremony and throw out a ceremonial first pitch at the Saturday, August 4th Somerset Patriots game against the New Britain Bees at TD Bank Ballpark. Three first responders will be chosen ...

Somerville: Gallery Hosts Photo Society's 90th Anniversary Exhibit

July 15, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Arts on Division is presenting “Visions of Raritan Photographic Society – A Celebration of 90 years” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at the Gallery on Division, 15B Division Street.

The Raritan Photographic Society, founded in 1929, is the oldest photography club in New Jersey. The exhibit celebrates the organization's 90 years ...

Take Action to Reduce Debt

In our last article, we broached the subject of debt and the township’s reliance – or over-reliance – on debt to fund our yearly expenditures for items such as roads. So, ok, we want to reduce our reliance on debt moving forward, especially as the cost of borrowing is rising. What’s the solution?

Well, there’s no magic wand we can wave to suddenly end ...

Is the Mediterranean Diet Still the Best for Heart Healthy Eating?

The Mediterranean diet has long been the standard for heart healthy eating.  It is a diet that emphasizes olive oil, fresh vegetables, nuts, whole grains over refined grains, fish and plant-based protein over red meat, herbs and spices to flavor food over salt, and fresh fruit for dessert instead of refined sweets. The US News and World Report even named the Mediterranean diet its ...

Celebrate Summer with Freedom & Responsibility

Parents and students rejoice!

School is out and everyone can now experience a great sense of freedom. Kids want to be outside enjoying summer weather and; although it’s the most wonderful season for non-academic activities involving swimming, traveling, and hiking to name a few, let us not forget that summer loss is a serious long-term result of not opening a book or writing for eight ...

Unique Skill Set Offers Students an Advantage

One of our SAT prep students recently gained a lot of attention for being accepted to all seven of the Ivy League schools to which she had applied, as well as to Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) She has chosen to attend M.I.T. and major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Of course, Diana had earned stellar SAT scores and had a most impressive ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, and dining ...