PATERSON, NJ – Students in Paterson’s public schools will be safer thanks to a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. announced Wednesday.  

Made available through the DOJ’s STOP School Violence Program, the federal award will help Paterson obtain new technology and establish programs that will allow officials to better assess potential threats and streamline the process for anonymously reporting suspicious activity, a statement said. 

“We fought vigorously to secure this funding for our students and I am thrilled we succeeded because it will literally save lives,” Pascrell said. “The classroom should be about history and mathematics, not fearing for your safety or practicing active shooter drills.”

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Launching an attack on the NRA and “their Republican allies” Pascrell said that he will “keep fighting to protect our children and neighbors through lifesaving awards like this.”

Thanking Pascrell for his efforts to enhance safety in the Paterson Public Schools was Mayor Andre Sayegh who said that “Safety in our schools is paramount and this funding will help us better protect or students and faculty.”

Offering a reminder that the venerable statesman is a former teacher and “fierce advocate for Paterson’s youth and public safety,” Superintendent of Schools Eileen Shafer also offered gratitude. 

“Our teachers, students, administrators, parents, and board members have made significant progress in creating safer environments and more success-oriented climates in our schools,” Shafer said. “This funding will help the district face its daily challenges and keep them from affecting students and staff inside the schools.”