Comprehensive School Security Legislation Introduced

Senator Declan O’Scanlon has introduced legislation that would help improve the safety and security of students, teachers, and staff in New Jersey’s classrooms.

“In light of the many tragedies that have occurred over the past decade, culminating in the heartbreaking tragedy in Uvalde, it has become painfully obvious that schools are no longer immune from the evils of this world. Because of that disturbing reality, it is paramount that we work to improve the safety and security of students and faculty in every classroom,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “Every student deserves a nurturing environment where they’re not afraid to learn; every teacher deserves a safe workplace where they can focus on educating; and every parent deserves peace of mind knowing their child is protected in the classroom. The debate over gun laws and other more controversial options is ongoing. But this package of bills shouldn’t be bogged down by those debates. The time is now to take these steps to further safeguard all students in this state, no matter what school they attend.”

O’Scanlon’s School Safety Legislation Includes:

S-2779 – Requires that in-service training for school employees on safety and security include component on behavioral threat assessment.
S-2780 – Requires Commissioner of Education to review school safety and security plans.
S-2781 – Requires Police Training Commission to adopt training course on school emergency response.
S-2784 – Provides that school district may not prohibit active or retired law enforcement officer or registered security officer from carrying firearm in performance of school security duties if authorized under State law to carry.
S-2785 – Directs Attorney General to establish program for anonymous reporting of potential threats to school safety.
O’Scanlon also plans to introduce two additional bills in the near future that would facilitate, and possibly mandate, school resource officers.

“Creating comprehensive school security programs is one of the most critical ways we can safeguard our students, our teachers, and our communities from potential threats,” added O’Scanlon. “My legislation is a great starting point and I welcome input from all of my colleagues, including those on the other side of the aisle. Together, we can improve the safety of New Jersey’s schools so that students can focus on the most important aspect of their education—learning.”

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