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Forum Today Discusses NJ School Safety [AUDIO]

In the wake of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the New Jersey School Boards Association is sponsoring a program today entitled “Safe and Secure Schools: Perspectives after Newtown.”

A woman walks past a sign that reads "Together we are Strong" at a memorial for those killed in the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School
A woman walks past a sign that reads “Together we are Strong” at a memorial for those killed in the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

More than 600 people, including school board members, school administrators, parents, law enforcement officers and municipal officials are expected to attend. The event will be held from 8:00 until noon in the Kendall Hall Theatre at The College of New Jersey in Ewing.

“It’s important for people to know what types of security procedures already are in place in New Jersey. But, more importantly, we have to explore other enhancements and other strategies in light of the Newtown tragedy,” said Frank Belluscio, Deputy Executive Director of the New Jersey School Boards Association. “This could include enhancements in school buildings, different types of security drills or other crisis intervention plans.”

The event will include panel discussions on Safety and Security at the School Building Level and State School Security Procedures and Requirements. It will begin with a keynote address, “The Essential Connection between a Safe and Secure School Climate and Students’ Educational and Life Success,” by Dr. Maurice Elias of Rutgers University, a nationally recognized expert in community and preventive psychology and school intervention.

“New Jersey has very strong security procedures. The state requires security drills and it requires crisis plans to be in place. However similar security processes were in place in Connecticut,” said Belluscio. “We have to look at enhancements that we might need to take in order to protect our students.”

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