NUTLEY, NJ - A group of about 50 people, including members of the Nutley Parents Advocacy Network, (NPAN), rallied in front of John H. Walker Middle School in Nutley to demand armed guards at each of the township's seven public schools. The rally took place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday March 24. 

The issue of school security has been a heated topic in the Essex County community since the February 14 when 17 students and faculty in Parkland Florida were gunned down during the school day. Since then, individuals demanding armed guards have attended two Nutley Board of Education (BOE) meetings to express their opinions during public comments. At the March 12 BOE meeting, the demand for armed guards dominated public comments. Demand for Armed Guards in Public Schools dominates public comments at Nutley Board of Ed meeting

Parents attending the Saturday rally explained that getting better security for the schools was their main goal. At the March 12 BOE meeting it was explained that a security assessment was being performed at every school in the district. Nutley Public Schools March 12 School Security Update. Officials from Homeland Security are a part of the team doing that work. Some of the parents at the rally explained that they want armed guards immediately as a security measure until the assessment is completed and implemented. 

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Parent Kim Farro explained that she is "for gun reform....I have no issues with that," she continued that we need better laws in place." Farro added that we need "to remove miliary grade weapons from the civilian population."

Renee Cozzolino said she was involved because this is about a higher level of security. 

One parent, Erica Zarro, who has a child in Lincoln School, submitted a letter to the editor about school security today. Nutley BOE: Make Our Children's Safety a Priority

TAPinto Nutley will continue to report on the issue of school security in the district. 

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