Two measures aimed at improving safety and security in New Jersey's schools cleared a state legislative panel in Trenton on Monday.
One requires all school employees to take annual training on school safety and security (Current state law requires only certified staff members to take such training only once).
Staffers will be trained train alongside emergency responders -- in order to identify weaknesses in school security procedures, as well as to improve the effectiveness of the first responders -- if the bill becomes law.
The second measure requires any new school construction to include certain security standards in its design.
These include separate pick-up and drop-off areas, control systems that allow for remote locking and sufficient space for an evacuation.
“This will outfit all of our new schools with the most up-to-date security measures and ensure staff members are equipped with the knowledge they need to handle an emergency,” state Sen. Dawn Addiego (R-Burlington, Camden, Atlantic) said after the state Senate Education Committee approved and forwarded the bills to the full Senate.
Addiego called the provisions of both bills "a few simple recommendations that will go a long way in making our schools safer for staff, teachers and students.
“As always, we have to be proactive and vigilant in all matters concerning school safety," she added. "Parents should feel safe sending their kids to our schools and know they will be well taken care of.”
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