WESTFIELD, NJ — At a parent forum on school security at Edison Intermediate School on Wednesday, state education officials briefed parents and staff on best practices. The forum followed the June arrest of an armed man on the grounds of Tamaques Elementary School and nationwide rise of school shootings.
Here are 5 key takeaways:
1. School security is not the sole responsibility of the respective districts and schools; rather, it is a community-wide effort and we are all responsible for contributing to this end.
2. The climate and culture that we seek within our schools should also be fostered and supported at home. We should all model the behaviors we desire from our children.
3. Our schools are tasked with striving to strike a balance between security protocols aimed at maintaining a strong security posture, while simultaneously providing an open and inviting learning environment. Parents can contribute greatly to this effort by understanding and adhering to the policies their respective schools implement in order to give our children safe and secure learning environments.
4. New Jersey is a national leader with regard to our school safety and security initiatives, and local school leaders in New Jersey have access to guidance on this topic through the Department of Education.
5. We want parents and guardians to recognize that, while their school officials cannot always reveal some of the strategies they employ in the interest of student safety, they are being guided by regulations, training and technical assistance on this crucial issue.
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh