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Should Panic Alarms Be Mandatory In New Jersey Schools? [AUDIO]

Garden State lawmakers could soon give final approval to a measure that aims to make public schools in Jersey even safer than they are now.

Sandy Hook Elementary School
Sandy Hook Elementary School (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo is sponsoring a measure that would mandate that all public schools – elementary and secondary – install silent panic alarms in every building that are directly connected to local police stations, and also calls for red light strobe lights to be attached outside the schools. They would be activated when the panic alarm is deployed in an emergency situation.

“The world has changed since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut several months ago. Our aim and objective is to cut down the response time for police to arrive on the scene to stop some crazy guy from coming in and shooting children or teachers or parents,” says Caputo.

He points out some boards of education have decided to put in armed security guards, some have not, but this measure is something that seems reasonable to everybody.

“It’s a very non-threatening way of protecting people – it’s not the answer, it’s not the total answer, but it’s a step forward,” he says.

Caputo adds we protect money in our banks with panic alarms – so here, we’re talking about children and teachers and possibly parents. So, why shouldn’t they get the same protection?

The measure has been released by the Assembly Education Committee, and now heads to the full Lower House for consideration.

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