Morris County News

Chatham BOE Working on New Visitors Policy for District; President Cites Sandy Hook Shooting

BOE member Rich Connors, the chairman of the policy and planning committee, is working on amending the district's "visitor's policy" Credits: TAP Chatham
New school board member Michael Valenti will be working on the new visitor's policy with committee chairman Rich Connors. Valenti retired as deputy chief of the Port Authority Police Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - Board member Rich Connors, the new chairman of the policy and planning committee, said that he and his committee are updating the policy No. 9150, which sets guidelines for school visitors, during his report Monday at the Chatham Board of Education meeting held at the Chatham Middle School.

The full text of the policy is below.

"We also discussed policies, one of which is dealing with school visitors and how we are going to try to have a better outline of proper procedure," Connors said. "We are looking at it and revising it. We are assessing all options."

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During the public portion of the meeting, Chatham parent Libby Hilsenrath asked if there was anything that prompted the move to change visitor rules.

"I have to jump in," Jill Critchley Weber, board president, said. "There has been 142 school shootings since Sandy Hook, 142 school shootings since Sandy Hook. We are not taking school safety lightly. This one just gets me. There are too many shootings."

In 2012, a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School took the lives of 20 students.

Connors declined to give any details of the changes because it is still a work in progress. He noted that new board member Michael Valenti, who worked for 23 years with the Port Authority Police, retiring as deputy chief in 2008, will be asked to add his expertise to any changes.

"Safety is always a big concern," Connors said. "We live in a different world right now, unfortunately. Mike Valenti has a long history with the Port Authority."

The next policy meeting is scheduled for Feb. 8.


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