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New NJ Laws Require Safer, More Secure Schools

Two new laws aim to make NJ schools safer.
Two new laws aim to make NJ schools safer. Photo Credit: COURTESY State Sen. Dawn Addiego

A measure signed into law by Gov. Christie on Monday now requires that all new schools built in New Jersey have additional safety and security protections that include separate pick-up and drop-off areas, control systems that allow for remote locking and sufficient space for an evacuation.

A separate bill also signed into law Monday requires schools to conduct annual security training alongside first responders.

“Providing students with a safe place to learn is one of our most important missions,” said state Sen. Dawn Addiego, one of the sponsors of both measures.

“Parents should feel confident that we are up to that task when they drop their kids off in the morning,” said Addiego (R-Burlington, Camden, Atlantic).

She added that "all of the participating parties –- teachers, staff, law enforcement – must be well-trained in all of the most up-to-date procedures, and we must be proactive in order to prevent a tragedy.”

Current law requires certified staff members to take specialized security training only once. It will now be annual.

"Staff will train alongside emergency responders in order to identify weaknesses in school security procedures, as well as to improve the effectiveness of the first responders," Addiego said.

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