NJ Towns Consider Armed Guards at Schools

Multiple towns in New Jersey are considering plans to add armed guards or police officers to schools after the shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The East Brunswick Board of Education voted unanimously to have armed police officers at all of its schools.  The schools superintendent said that will supplement the district’s existing staff of 71 security officers to “insure the safety of our students and staff.”

"I love the security.  I love it, absolutely," one father told WOR's Alice Stockton-Rossini, adding that it was "outstanding" that the school would add this layer of security.

Last week, a high school student in East Brunswick was arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat online.  A parent and student noticed the posting and alerted school officials, who then passed on the information to East Brunswick police.

"I just can't believe that this is happening with our kids," one mother said.  "It's very, very sad."

In Mahwah, Mayor Bill Laforet is calling for security to be stepped up at schools.  This comes after the public wasn’t made aware of a threat several months ago until last week.  In a post on Facebook, Laforet said he was “greatly troubled” by the revelation and said police should be stationed at the district’s schools.

“The presence of an armed uniformed patrol officer in a marked police car at each of the schools will act as a deterrent and provide immediate response time should a threat be made against any school facility in the interim, this will result in additional police overtime costs being incurred, but so be it,” he wrote.

Laforet wants the schools to enter a shared services agreement with the township to help defray the cost. 

The highest priority of government is to protect its citizens. As the Mayor, I am committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to protect our students and District staff when attending Mahwah Township Schools,” Laforet said.

In Nutley, a group of parents have also requested that armed guards be assigned to schools in the district.  School was canceled last week after a threatening post online.

Photo Credit:  Getty Images

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